New York’s Insane Rent-Reform Package Will Make the Housing Market Worse for Everyone

(Lucas Jackson/Reuters)The plan will vastly increase the cost of city housing and lead to the deterioration of thousands of units.

The New York State Legislature will vote this week on a package of reforms to existing rent-control and tenant-protection laws. Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to sign whatever the Legislature delivers to his desk. The proposal at issue is disastrous; in a misguided effort to solve New York City’s affordable-housing crisis, Democrats in Albany are threatening to seriously damage the city’s housing supply and the quality of existing buildings.

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Lawmakers have essentially decided to further intensify the city’s already dense tangle of regulations and restrictions on landlords. The reforms make it much harder to raise rents on rent-controlled (22,000 units in the city) and rent-stabilized (966,000 units) apartments. They make it harder for landlords to evict difficult tenants, and they disincentivize maintenance and upgrades. They force landlords who sold leases below the rent-regulated price to keep them that way. And they allow tenants making over $200,000 a year to pay below-market prices.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, a bit of background on what all these terms mean.

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Almost a million units in New York

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