Gov. Andrew Cuomo had some tough words for the Senate today, both Democrats and Republicans, in their decision last night to vote to scuttle a temporary extension of rent-control laws until a permanent deal is in place.
Cuomo last night indicated he plans to keep lawmakers in town until a permanent deal is reached, but he was even more stern in his statement today, saying the decision last night in the Senate was a “betrayal” of tenants living in rent-controlled apartments and vowed that the Legislature isn’t going “home until tenants are protected. I am prepared to call special session to keep the legislature in place until there are rent protection laws in place.”
His full statement:
“Affordable housing is an all too scarce commodity, especially in New York City and the surrounding areas. Our state’s rent protection laws are essential and any long term expiration would create a crisis. Last night the State Senate — both Democrats and Republicans — failed to continue the laws beyond their expiration.
“We are making progress but the Senate’s failure to act last night was unacceptable and a betrayal of the one million tenants living in rent protected apartments. I will not allow the legislature to go out of session and go home until tenants are protected. I am prepared to call special session to keep the legislature in place until there are rent protection laws in place.”
Senate Democrats, who orchestrated the late night move, said this morning that their goal is to force Republicans to strengthen rent-control laws for New York City and its suburbs. Senate Republican have indicated that simply want an extension of current laws.
“The last time there was a short-term lapse in the rent laws, no tenants lost their homes. The real doomsday scenario is if rent laws are not strengthened. Republican attempts to merely extend the current rent laws are just a ploy to kill another 100,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. Senate Democrats are ready to stay as long as it takes to strengthen rent laws. We won’t go home until rent laws that protect the homes of millions of tenants are strengthened,” said Austin Shafran, spokesman for the Senate Democratic Conference.
Here’s Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, trying to find common ground between the sides, saying the law should be temporary extended.