Tenants and housing rights advocacy groups join NYC Council, Public Advocate to launch Good Cause Eviction Resolution

by | Oct 21, 2021 | Housing, New York City, Press Releases

As NY’s eviction moratorium is set to expire in January, tenants and Council members demand Albany enact permanent protections from unjust and predatory evictions

The resolution’s introduction in the NYC Council follows a wave of upstate cities passing strong Good Cause Eviction laws

New York City, NY— Today at City Hall, tenants, organizers, housing rights advocates, elected officials and candidates from across New York City joined together to launch a City Council resolution urging the state legislature to pass Good Cause Eviction legislation in the upcoming legislative session.

With New York State’s eviction moratorium set to expire in January 2022, tens of thousands of evictions could be allowed to go forward unless state leaders take action. Corporate developers and predatory property owners are keeping our communities stuck in a housing system that forces people to choose between paying rent and buying food. As a result, we have more than 89,000 homeless adults and children in New York and millions more who are just one emergency away from losing their homes. Unjust evictions, unfair rent hikes and unsafe living conditions disproportionately affect Black and Brown New Yorkers.

By introducing this resolution today, the New York City Council is joining a wave of upstate cities pushing for an end to unjust evictions. Good Cause Eviction laws have already passed in the cities of Albany and Hudson and are on the way to becoming law in other upstate communities, but Good Cause must be passed statewide so that every tenant can live with dignity in a safe and affordable home. 

Without Good Cause Eviction, tenants in New York can face eviction for any reason, including the predatory practices of big developers. No one should be forced to live in unsafe conditions because they fear being evicted, or be forced out of their home by unreasonable rent increases to pad developers’ pockets. Predatory and retaliatory evictions happen far too often, including when tenants try to exercise basic rights like requesting apartment repairs. 

“The affordable housing crisis spans all of New York – that shared struggle is what brought us together in 2019 to pass landmark tenant protections, and what drives us to continue the fight for Good Cause laws. Here in New York City, Good Cause would provide critical tenant protections against unjust evictions and unreasonable rent increases,” said Jumaane Williams, New York City Public Advocate. “I’m proud to be advocating for a resolution that pushes Albany to act as we bring together upstate and downstate, advocates and elected officials, to solve the crises that confront us all by uniting toward a progressive vision.”

“We have been pushing for good cause eviction protections since 2019 when my colleagues Senator Julia Salazar and Assemblymember Pamela Hunter initially introduced the legislation, and it has never been more important than it is today. Enactment of the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act represented a huge step forward in standing up for tenants, closing loopholes that allowed some landlords to profit from unscrupulous and sometimes predatory practices, stabilizing our communities, and preventing homelessness,” said Senator Brian Kavanagh, chair of the Senate Housing Committee and a co-sponsor of the Good Cause bill. “But we still have much work to do, and establishing in law the reasonable principles behind the good cause eviction legislation is central to that work. I thank Senator Salazar and Assemblymember Hunter for their leadership, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and the members of the City Council for voicing strong support for this critical legislation on behalf of New York City, and Citizen Action and the many advocacy organizations and tenant leaders who are working to get it enacted.”

“With the expiration of yet another eviction moratorium on the horizon, it is imperative that we pass Good Cause to prevent mass evictions from occurring across our state. Seeing other cities like Albany passing Good Cause demonstrates that there is political appetite and reinforces that there is an increase in public support for this legislation,” said State Senator Julia Salazar. “I am thankful to the advocates, and future city council members who are standing here to further affirm that housing is a human right, and every eviction that occurs is a policy failure.”

“Protecting tenants’ rights has always been critical, but it’s never been more important than now during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. All New Yorkers deserve a safe and reliable home, and enacting Good Cause Eviction legislation is a key part of achieving that vision,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“Every New Yorker can and should be guaranteed a safe, quality, and permanently affordable roof over their head,” said Tiffany Cabán, Democratic Nominee for the 22nd City Council District. “Forcing folks out of their homes is destabilizing, has generational impacts, and leads to increased risk of criminal legal system involvement. Elected leaders have the chance to drastically reduce homelessness and keep people safe and healthy by passing the Good Cause eviction legislation. Our Senators, Assemblymembers, and Governor can save lives, and if it saves lives, it’s worth doing.”

“Communities across our city and state continue to be severely rent-burdened and at risk of eviction. The housing crisis predates the pandemic and unjustly and disproportionately affects communities of color and low-income New Yorkers.  As an Assemblymember I have fought for historic rent reform and wholeheartedly support Good Cause legislation across our state. As a Councilmember I look forward to continuing to support this fight as we work to dismantle the forces of displacement and protect tenants” said Assemblymember and Democratic Nominee for the 10th City Council District Carmen De La Rosa. “We need to pass Good Cause Eviction and continue to fight so that one day all New Yorkers have a home and the dignity they deserve.”

“New Yorkers were facing a housing crisis long before this pandemic, and now it’s more critical than ever that we take action to ensure access to safe, affordable, and stable housing for all,” said Crystal Hudson, Democratic Nominee for City Council District 35. “Housing is a human right, and no one should have to live in fear of losing their home due to unfair rent hikes or retaliation by landlords. It’s far past time for our state lawmakers to pass Good Cause legislation and keep fighting to protect tenants and prevent further displacement in our communities.”

“Today and every day I stand with NYC tenants. I am a proud supporter of the Good Cause Eviction Bill and recognize the urgency for the City Council to pass a resolution to push and collaborate with our State colleagues. As a City, we have a responsibility to keep our neighbors housed. In particular, City Council member offices must be funded to directly provide adequate social services to ensure neighbors remain housed if they’re struggling to pay for rent or other necessities. The need to sign Good Cause into law is especially important through the pandemic, as housing insecurity is rising and social security nets are being slashed,” said Shahana Hanif, Democratic Nominee for City Council District 39. “I have stood with residents in my district, where predatory equity firm Greenbrook Partners has a footprint of over 100 buildings citywide while forcing illegal evictions through harassment and neglect. We need to stop this and other schemes that push residents out. As a former tenant organizer, I also know that New Yorkers need better tools across languages to fight back against predatory landlords and unjust housing policy. Let’s pass the Good Cause Resolution now!” 

“My home county, in the Bronx, has the highest rate of evictions in NYC. Bronxites are largely working-class New Yorkers. They clean your streets, serve your drinks, babysit your kids, deliver your food and drive you to work,” said Bereket Ghebremedhin, Chair of the NYC Housing and Economic Justice Committee at Citizen Action of New York. “They do all the hard work that provides many simple luxuries of a decent life, for little pay. The Bronx is the invisible borough that keeps the city running despite the fact we are the most neglected. Passing Good Cause tells Bronxites that their very lives are just as essential as their labor.”

“New Yorkers in unregulated buildings need basic protections to defend against unjust evictions, extortionate rent hikes, and landlord harassment,” said Adriene Holder, Attorney-In-Charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society. “Albany must immediately join the ranks of other jurisdictions to codify these protections, which is especially critical as the statewide eviction moratorium is scheduled to expire in early January. The Legal Aid Society calls on Governor Hochul, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins, and Speaker Heastie to answer the calls of their constituents and enact Good Cause without further delay.” 

“The pandemic has revealed how many New Yorkers are facing severe housing insecurity. When families lack secure housing, entire communities are impacted. We need to pass Good Cause eviction protections to make sure that everyday families are safe and protected.” said Sochie Nnaemeka, State Director of the New York Working Families Party. “We are calling on the City Council to pass this resolution now and urge the state legislature to pass Good Cause immediately.” 

“Based on CSS’s research, a staggering 783,876 New York City households would benefit from Good Cause eviction protections, as would nearly half the state’s renters,” said David R. Jones, President and CEO of the Community Service Society of New York. New York City tenants and renters across the state deserve the stability, security and legal protections that Good Cause provides.” 

“The reality is that, since the pandemic struck the restaurant industry, hundreds of thousands of restaurant workers in New York have experienced greater hardships. The economic recovery, at this critical point, depends on who you ask. For many of these workers—the majority of whom are women, immigrants, and people of color—are still behind on their rental payments, putting themselves and their families at risk of losing their homes,” said Rev. Prabhu Sigamani, director of ROC United—New York and National CHOW. “Passing the New York City Good Cause legislation will provide security and keep these hardworking families from falling through the cracks. It will serve as a lifeline—and will make a substantial difference in these workers’ ability to afford other necessities for their families and keep their children safe and unharmed.”

“Good Cause Eviction legislation would have a transformative effect on tenant rights across the state,” said Brahvan Ranga, Political Coordinator at For the Many. “We are confronted with a housing crisis that has priced working people out of their homes or into poverty, and leaves tenants with the constant fear of an arbitrary eviction or a predatory rent increase. Good Cause Eviction would give tenants the tools they need to stand up to landlords and feel secure in their homes.”