The “Good Cause Eviction” bill. People should get ready to hear the name of this piece of legislation repeated throughout the next legislative session.
Progressive Democrats have made this bill one of their top priorities and rallied around the state on Tuesday in support of this measure.
“Housing is a human right,” advocates chanted outside the New York State Capitol.
New York’s emergency rental assistance program closed to new applicants this past weekend and the state’s eviction moratorium is set to expire on Jan. 15.
Democratic lawmakers are pushing for a package of housing bills they say will help protect tenants, starting with the Good Cause Eviction bill.
Good Cause eviction would only allow landlords to deny a lease renewal under very limited circumstances and would cap rent increases for almost half of the state’s renters to 3% annually.
The bill struggled to gain traction when it was first introduced in 2019, but now localities such as Albany, Newburgh and Poughkeepsie have passed their own versions of Good Cause.
“We are in a crisis and don't blame just COVID, because it was a housing crisis decades ago,” Senator Jabari Brisport said. “A crisis of capitalism and putting profits over people. But people across the state are rising up and we are seeing in city after city after city good cause measures being passed.”
This legislation is also grabbing the attention of candidates running for governor.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James said she supports the measure at an event in Puerto Rico.
Gov. Kathy Hochul has so far declined to take a position, but will be facing tough pressure from the left, since Democrats have supermajorities in both houses, allowing them to override any vetoes she might issue.
“I would say to her that this is a crisis for New Yorkers and not just the 92,000 New Yorkers that are homeless, but almost every renter outside of New York City can be evicted for almost any reason,” Brisport said. “The majority of people in the state are renters. So this is something that is important to the populace at large.”
Oregon and California have similar laws.