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Transcript: Mayor de Blasio Holds Public Hearing and Signs Intros 685, 435-A, and 458-A

March 31, 2015

Mayor Bill de Blasio: All right. I’d like to welcome everyone to this hearing. We’ve got several pieces of business here.

We’re going to start with Intro 685. Intro 685 extends the city’s rent stabilization laws to April 1, 2018. I’d like to thank the sponsors, Council Members Corey Johnson, Jumaane Williams, and Helen Rosenthal.

This is against a backdrop of the issue I obviously devoted my State of the City speech to, the housing crisis in this city. At this point, 56 percent of New Yorkers are rent-burdened – an extraordinary number of our fellow citizens who literally are having trouble making ends meet and trouble paying the rent. This situation sadly has been getting worse. Over the last three years, rents have outpaced inflation and median income. So this is a profound challenge.

Rent regulation is powerful tool in the face of this crisis. It keeps New York City affordable by restricting rent increases and limiting evictions. So this is part of how we ensure that our fellow New Yorkers are not unfairly priced out of their homes – and we have to do a lot more to protect the 1 million rent regulated apartments in this city. So that – that’s the focus of a lot of other things we’ll be doing, but certainly it’s the focus of this legislation as well.

The city is doing everything we can to increase the amount of affordable housing, to fight to protect tenants who currently are in rent regulated apartments, to make sure they have the legal support they deserve. We need to see Albany do a lot more too. As I said in my budget testimony in Albany, we need Albany to step up, enforce the laws more effectively, and put more resources into enforcing the laws. And certainly, we need to see Albany strengthen our rent laws in the months ahead.

This is part of an overall strategy that is consistent with our plan to build and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. All of these things have to happen if we want a truly affordable city and a city for all.

I want to thank the members of the City Council and of course Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for helping to achieve this legislation.

Now I’d like to bring forward a leader on the front to create all and preserve all that affordable housing, our housing commissioner, HPD Commissioner Vicki Been.


Mayor: All right, with that, let’s go sign the legislation into law.

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 685]


Mayor: Okay. Next is Intro 458-A. Intro 458-A will ensure that the city’s young adults are educated about consumer protection issues. This is a great deal – a very, very interesting issue in our household as well.

I want to thank the sponsor, Council Member Mark Treyger.

Young people in New York City and all across the nation are facing historically high levels of personal debt, including from student loans, car loans, and credit cards. It’s a major burden on their future – and again, Dante and Chiara will tell you how aware they are of the fact that these can be real burdens on their futures. So, the reality is that too often these financial products carry hidden risks in fine print.

This bill will require that educational materials be made available in our public schools, at CUNY, and online. It’s our responsibility to ensure that all New Yorkers are financially literate and able to make smart decisions with their money – and this legislation will help us to achieve that goal.

I want to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito and thank Rafael Espinal, the chair of the consumer affairs committee.

Now I’d like to turn to our consumer affairs commissioner, Julie Menin.


Mayor: Thank you very much. Let’s sign it into law.

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 458-A]


Mayor: Okay. One more piece of legislation – last but not least – Intro 435-A requires the Department of Education to report annually on special education services. It’s sponsored by the chair of our education committee, Danny Dromm.

The Department of Education is working hard to ensure that special education students have the full services they need to succeed. This bill will ensure transparency, and help us understand what services are being properly provided and what can be improved.

I want to thank Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and of course Council Member Dromm.

I’d like to invite Council Member Dromm to speak.


Mayor: Shall we sign the bill?

[Mayor de Blasio signs Intro 435-A]

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