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Mayor de Blasio Signs Legislation to Extend Rent Stabilization Laws

March 30, 2015

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NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today signed into law Intro. 685, in relation to extending rent stabilization laws; Intro. 458-A, in relation to requiring the Department of Consumer Affairs to provide outreach and education to young adults; and Intro. 435-A, in relation to reporting of special education services provided by the Department of Education.

The first bill, Intro. 685, extends the rent stabilization laws in New York City until April 1, 2018.  The 2014 Housing Survey shows that New York City currently has a rental vacancy rate of 3.45 percent, which constitutes a housing emergency, and this legislation is necessary to restrict rent increases and prevent evictions. This bill was approved by the City Council during the Stated Meeting on March 11.

“Rent regulations are vital to protecting New Yorkers from displacement and keeping our communities whole. Renewing and strengthening rent rules is a top priority for us in Albany this session, and we will fight alongside our partners in the City Council and our delegation in the State Legislature to ensure we have the tools we need to preserve more than a million rent stabilized apartments,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I want to thank Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for her leadership, and Council Members Williams, Johnson, and Rosenthal for sponsoring this bill.”

"From helping young New Yorkers establish financial stability to increasing transparency in our education system and continuing the fight to preserve rent-stabilized housing, the Council is proud of our work to make this city more livable for all," said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "I thank my colleagues in the Council and the de Blasio administration for their partnership in making these legislative items a reality."

“The recently published Housing Vacancy Survey revealed that New York City's vacancy rate is at 3.45%. Combine that with steadily increasing rents and widespread income stagnation-- it's clear that our City is currently in a housing crisis,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams, Chair of the Housing and Buildings Committee. “In order to ensure thousands of New Yorkers do not see their rent go up or their protection against arbitrary evictions lost, we must enact stronger tenant protections, which is exactly what this package of legislation does. Strengthening our rent laws is the only option I consider a win in Albany, because simply renewing them would be a major loss for all tenants. It's my hope that with this legislation passed, our state legislators hear the Council's recommendations loud and clear, and will further develop a plan that not only complements the Mayor's housing plan, but gives immediate relief to our poor and working class citizens who need it most.”

“Year after year, New York City residents continue to face a housing crisis,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “I am proud to be the prime sponsor of legislation that recognizes the continuing housing emergency, and this bill will extend rent-stabilization laws in our City another three years. To further demonstrate the importance of strengthening these existent laws, I will be traveling to Albany this session to demand change from legislators at the state level. I thank Mayor de Blasio for making affordable housing among his top priorities. Simply too many people have been priced out of their communities – we can do better for New Yorkers.”

"We should never accept that New Yorkers are being displaced from their communities. This bill is an essential piece of the continuing efforts needed to protect our affordable housing and those who currently live in rent stabilized units. I hope that our state legislators get the message loud and clear: New York City will not stand for inequitable housing practices and a future plan needs to be established to provide relief to our most vulnerable residents. I will never give up the fight to protect affordable housing for those who need it most, in Council District 6 and across the City," said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.

The second bill, Intro. 458-A, requires the Department of Consumer Affairs to provide outreach and education related to consumer protection issues to young adults ages 16-24. Educational materials related to consumer products commonly available to young adults – such as student loans and credit cards – must be made available at public schools and CUNY schools, as well as online, to ensure young adults are financially literate. This bill was approved by the City Council during the Stated Meeting on March 11.  In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Mark Treyger, and Chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs, Council Member Rafael Espinal, for supporting this legislation.

“I would like to thank the Mayor for signing Intro. 458-A, a measure that proactively seeks to educate and connect young people with some of the tools they need to become savvy consumers,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal, Jr., Chair of the Committee on Consumer Affairs. “Statistics suggest there is a need for financial education targeted to young adults. It is sad to hear that as much as 12 percent of them are unbanked, 43 percent have used non-bank methods of borrowing, and 34 percent have engaged in three or more costly credit card behaviors. With the passage of this bill, the Department of Consumer Affairs will provide young adults between the ages of 16 and 24 with outreach and education regarding consumer protection issues. This is an important step towards improving financial literacy for younger New Yorkers and I thank my colleague, Council Member Mark Treyger, for bringing this issue to the forefront.”

“With our teenagers and young adults being targeted by financial institutions like never before, we must give them the knowledge to make smart decisions with their money. These decisions will have a long term impact on their financial health and on their ability to get ahead in life, so we must help them understand the ramifications of taking on loans and the benefits of responsibly building credit,” said Council Member Mark Treyger. “This bill will ensure that we inform and empower the next generation of New Yorkers to avoid serious financial pitfalls and build a strong foundation for the future.”

The third bill, Intro. 435-A, requires the Department of Education to report annually on students receiving special education services. This report will provide information that includes the types of services students receive, and demographic information about the students receiving them. This bill was approved by the City Council during the Stated Meeting on March 11. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor and Chair of the Committee on Education, Council Member Daniel Dromm, for supporting this legislation.

“Transparency and accountability regarding special education have long been a goal of mine,” said Chair of the Committee on Education, Council Member Daniel Dromm. “Finally, working with education advocates and the Department of Education, we put together legislation that will create both. This bill will require reporting on how long it takes from the time of an initial special education referral to the time a child actually receives service. It will also require reporting on how reevaluations for service are conducted, among other things. This will help us to determine what changes are necessary to create better, more responsive special education services and ultimately, benefit many thousands of students. Thank you, Mayor de Blasio, for signing this into law.”

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