Albany, NY—In response to the City of Albany announcing a one-to-two year timeline to complete a vacancy study to determine the city’s eligibility to opt into the Emergency Tenant Protection Act (ETPA), Ivette Alfonso, President of Citizen Action of New York, said:

“Mayor Sheehan’s administration took a step in the right direction by releasing its request for proposal to conduct the city’s housing vacancy rate study – the first step to enacting emergency tenant protections for thousands of Albany residents – but the plan kicks relief too far down the road. 

The legislation drafted by Mayor Sheehan gives the city one year to conduct the study and the option to extend the deadline by another year. Based on similar studies in other municipalities, the study should only take a few months to be completed. The city’s current timeline would allow predatory developers, most of whom operate from outside of Albany, to lock in higher rents and push out lower-income tenants before expanded protections can be implemented. The City of Kingston announced a two-month timeframe to complete their study, and Albany’s shouldn’t be too far off, especially since the city has the power to still include eligible property owners in the study who may attempt to delay progress or not comply. 

We need speedy implementation of ETPA in Albany to ensure that upstate tenants get the full benefits of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act – historic housing reforms enacted this summer. City officials must protect their constituents who are deeply impacted by Albany’s housing crisis, not wealthy developers who are more concerned with making profits.”