Sleep-in Protesters Demand Action on Expired Rent Laws
Elected officials and tenants from around the city camped out in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo's Midtown office last night, urging Albany to act on the expired rent laws.
They held a rally outside Cuomo's office on Third Avenue before bunking down on the sidewalk for the night.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams took part in the sleep-in.
"We're willing to have a level of discomfort to ensure that people are comfortable in knowing that they are not going to lose their homes," Adams said.
“We shouldn't play games with people's homes, so we're really counting on Cuomo to step up and do what he said he wanted to do, which is strengthen the rent laws," Williams said.
Councilman Williams is also suggesting the governor declare a state of emergency, and allow the City Council to pass temporary legislation that protects rent-stabilized New Yorkers.
Even though the legislative session in Albany was supposed to end at midnight, lawmakers will be back today trying to hammer out a deal on rent regulations.
The governor remained out of sight yesterday, meeting behind closed doors with legislative leaders.
In the meantime, Democrats have introduced a bill to extend the current laws until February.
"That will probably be looked upon as a last resort. To at least try to give some comfort back to people who are by sure what is going to happen to their homes. But we're still working on it. Trying to get something done," said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
"Our position hasn't changed from a couple of days ago and early in the session. The property tax cap we still believe should be permanent. We put a rent bill that I think is in the best interest of taxpayers and for the City of New York," said Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan.
Governor Cuomo says he will extend the current session until lawmakers reach an agreement.