Assemblymember Steck: Rent Control an Option Upstate

“I voted in favor of the bill to provide Upstate New York municipalities with the option in their discretion to adopt rent control. I must stress that this legislation gives Upstate New York cities, towns and villages rent control as a tool to aid their local economies if they believe conditions warrant.

“Studies have shown that rising rents have outstripped any increases in income. This creates a dangerous situation in the economy. If people are forced to spend too much of their income on housing, they have little discretionary income left over and they are unable to spend on goods and services in the economy. This reduction in purchasing power will harm the economy.

“In New York City, rent regulation is imperative because too much money is chasing too few apartments. Wealthy foreigners buy or rent apartments either for investment or recreational purposes. This is driving longtime middle-class residents out of the city.

“The situation in Upstate New York is different. Incomes are low. But rent control can also be a tool to address an imbalance between rent and people’s ability to pay.

“I wish to thank those who spoke to me about proposal that placed mandatory restrictions on rent increases, limiting those to 1.5 times the increase in the consumer price increase. I agree that restriction was unreasonable and it was eliminated from the bill.”