Mayoral Control, Rent Regulations Unresolved as Albany Session Winds Down
Mayoral control of city schools, rent regulations and the controversial tax abatement program for developers known as 421-a still hangs in the balance as Albany lawmakers prepare to head back to their home districts for the summer. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
Perhaps there is no issue with a greater immediate impact to New Yorkers than the rent regulations which will expire without action from Albany. The rent protections affect roughly 2.5 million people in the city and it's up to state leaders to renew them before the session ends later this month.
Mayor Bill de Blasio took listener calls on this and other topics during a WNYC Radio interview Friday morning.
"I think all your listeners should recognize there are people in Albany who want to tear down rent regulations. They need to be stopped. And we have to change this discussion in Albany that simple status quo on rent regulation is simply step backwards," De Blasio said.
De Blasio also talked about the 421-a tax break for developers. The mayor negotiated a deal with the Real Estate Board of New York to extend the tax break in exchange for more affordable housing.
"The 421-a law as we knew it, was broken and is broken.You cannot give subsidies to luxury developers and get nothing back for the people," De Blasio said.
But the mayor's plan does not include a requirement that construction workers be paid a prevailing wage, and that has upset the trade unions. Sources tell NY1 that, in an alliance, Governor Cuomo and senate Republicans are committed to ensuring that some kind of prevailing wage provision is in the final agreement.
"When buildings go up, they have to be safe. They have to be built properly. Our trades do that. And then again, people need to be able to afford to live in those buildings once they are built. We have to make sure that people are paid a fair wage," said State Senator Jack Martins.
Mayoral control of the New York City public school system is also up for renewal. Both parties are committed to extending it.
"I'm confident we are going to end up with mayoral control. Whether it's one year, two years or three years that is being discussed," said State Senator Andrew Lanza.
The 421-a law and rent regulations are set to expire on June 15. Mayoral control of schools expires on June 30, so we are likely to see some kind of action within the next week. However, that could wind up being a one year extension on all three.