Publicly Advocating for Good Cause Eviction

NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams (back, center) at his rally to support Good Cause Eviction. NYC Comptroller Brad Lander speaks supported by NYC Council Member Chi Ossé, standing to Williams’s right, and housing advocates United Neighbors Organization (UNO), Churches United for Fair Housing, and St. Nicks Alliance joined the rally.

NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams held a rally outside City Hall on April 6 to encourage Governor Kathy Hochul and NYS legislators to support Good Cause Eviction.  He was joined by housing advocates NYC Comptroller Brad Lander, and NYC Council Member Chi Ossé.

Enacting Good Cause Eviction would protect good tenants from losing their homes who live in market-rate units.  As market-rate units are not regulated, landlords have the power to raise the rent however much they wish or change rules in the next lease.

Under Good Cause Eviction, landlords still have the right to evict bad tenants – if a landlord has good cause to evict a tenant like nonpayment of rent, they have the usual path to evict.

In 2022, North Brooklyn saw market-rate rent increases of 80% or higher.  This sort of practice is destabilizing to community.  It oils a revolving door of moving in and moving out.  This raises the question: if customers are protected from price gouging during a State of Emergency, shouldn’t tenants be protected from that during a housing crisis?

There are landlords who support Good Cause Eviction.  102 landlords signed a letter, dated March 28, 2023, that beseeched Governor Hochul and NYS legislators to pass Good Cause Eviction.  These landlords combined manage more than 5,000 properties.  Their letter stated, “As landlords, our job is to provide a safe and healthy home for our tenants. We have a responsibility to keep our buildings in a state of good repair, both for the families who live under our roof and for the neighbors surrounding us. Failing to do so would not only mean we’d lose tenants, but that we’d also hurt the fabric of our community.”  The letter also warned of, “a new kind of landlord has begun to dominate the New York market: private equity firms and corporate behemoths who buy up buildings, hike up rents, and evict tenants, all in pursuit of flipping properties for a tidy profit. These landlords don’t see tenants as human beings. For them, they are nothing more than ATM machines.”  Good Cause Eviction would shield against such practices.

Will New York State continue to enable the corporate behemoths that prioritize profit over people or bolster fair housing practices that protect tenants and independent landlords?  Time will tell.

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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