BRONX, N.Y. Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner (D-Bronx, 77th AD) has introduced and supported legislation meant to help tenants obtain, and maintain, affordable housing options for their families. These bills include:
End Source of Income Discrimination: A5166-2015 (Joyner):
This bill would end source of income discrimination, making it illegal for landlords to deny tenancy to people who pay their rent using Section 8 vouchers or any other forms of rental assistance.
Succession Rights Study Bill: A6974-2015 (Joyner):
This legislation would require every landlord owning a building of five or more units to make a quarterly report to New York Homes and Community Renewal indicating how many applications for succession rights they have received, the dates those applications were received, the determination for each application and in the case of a rejected application the reason the application was denied.
Repeal vacancy destabilization: A1865-2015 (Rosenthal):
This bill would repeal vacancy decontrol, the process by which, upon vacancy, landlords can remove apartments from rent regulation when rents rise over $2,500. Upon vacancy decontrol, a process that has deregulated over 300,000 apartments, rents can rise indefinitely and tenants lose eviction protections. The bill also re-regulates most of the apartments that were deregulated in the last 15 years.
This bill would close a loophole in the rent laws that currently impacts hundreds of thousands of preferential rent tenants. Preferential rents occur when a landlord offers a rent stabilized apartment for less than the legal regulated rent, which is often higher than the market will bear due to vacancy bonuses, IAIs, MCIs and RGB rent increases. As of now, when leases are renewed landlords can raise rents all the way up to the legal regulated rent, which can be hundreds of dollars higher than the preferential rate. This bill would require that preferential lease renewals be offered based on the lower rate, and only allows landlords to jump up to the legal regulated rent upon vacancy.
This bill would eliminate the statutory vacancy bonus, an automatic rent increase of up to 20% that landlords can use to raise rents every time the apartment turns over.
It has become apparent that the imposition of unwarranted and fraudulent rent increases based on alleged improvements in vacant apartments is the greatest single factor driving the rapid inflation of rents and the single greatest threat to the affordability that the Rent Laws were enacted to preserve. Currently weak regulation makes it possible for unscrupulous landlords to unlawfully deregulate tens of thousands of rent stabilized units, and inflate rents in stabilized apartments to a level beyond the reach of many working families. The IAI system must be reformed.
This bill would prohibit surcharges for tenant installed appliances, such as air conditioners or washing machines, where the tenant pays for electric utility services.
Rent control relief: A398-2015 (Rosenthal):
This bill would end the annual 7.5% rent increases and bring the increases for rent controlled tenants in line with typical rent stabilized adjustments through replacing the 7.5% rent increase with a rolling average of the past five years New York City RGB rent adjustments for one year leases on class A apartments. This bill would also eliminate the fuel and labor pass-alongs for rent controlled tenants, since fuel and labor costs are already factored into the RGBs annual deliberations for rent adjustments.
Repeal deregulation of Rent Regulated apartments: A04741-2015 (Colton):
It has become apparent that the possibility of deregulation of apartments puts current tenants at risk for harassment and fraudulent deregulation. Thus rent regulated apartments should stay rent regulated no matter the rent charged or the income of the families living in the apartment.
Mitchell Lama reform bill: A344-2015 (Rosenthal):
This bill would authorize the local legislative bodies to declare a housing emergency and extend the protections of rent regulations to building that were formerly Mitchell-lama rentals or HUD subsidized housing and were privatized. Additionally this bill authorized local legislative bodies to declare a housing emergency and extend the protections of rent regulations to current Mitchell-Lamas rentals or HUD subsidized housing developments that privatize in the future.