(New York, NY) — Cynthia Nixon’s bid for governor of New York is still in its nascent stages.
For the most part, it seems that Nixon, who will face current New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary, was spurred into action by the effect of New York politics, and all the facets of bureaucracy that entails, on her own life.
— Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) March 19, 2018
The former Sex and the City star and mother of three, who all attend New York public school, has slammed Cuomo for the MTA subways, has accused him of wealth inequality and has even vowed to legalize recreational marijuana in the state; but one of her most important stances to some New York City residents might be her advocacy for stabilizing rent and protecting tenants.
“Too many New Yorkers can no longer afford to live in the community, town or even city where they grew up. Hundreds of thousands of black and brown families are being pushed out of the neighborhoods that they have called home for generations,” said Nixon on her campaign website. “Too many New Yorkers are teetering on the brink of homelessness and have to make the tough decision each month about whether to put food on the table or pay the rent check.”
Nixon noted that as homelessness declines across the country, it is only increasing in New York City. In the last eight years, homelessness in New York has surged by 36 percent to over 89,000 people.
“In the last eight years, Governor Cuomo’s real estate donors have dictated housing policy in our state — and the results have been disastrous. It’s hard to do right when you’re getting millions of dollars to do wrong,” Nixon said on her website.
Rent stabilization laws currently apply to more than one million households in New York City, according to Nixon’s website, which says these laws give families “peace of mind” by ensuring the right to stay in their homes with modest annual rent increases. Nixon said that as gentrification sweeps cities and seeps into suburbs, rent stabilization protects tenants from private equity landlords that want to take advantage of an out-of-control housing market.
On April 19, Kushner Cos., a real estate developer firm belonging to White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, said it had “nothing to hide” when faced with an investigation by federal prosecutors regarding its false filings across 84 Manhattan properties claiming it housed no rent-stabilized tenants when, in fact, it housed hundreds.
“The falsification of building permits is not merely about bureaucratic paperwork. It poses a profound threat to the affordability of rent-regulated units, which is the largest form of affordable housing in New York City,” said City Council Member Ritchie Torres, who has launched his own investigation into Kushner Cos.’ false filings alongside Aaron Carr, executive director of the Housing Rights Initiative.
“Under Cuomo, landlords are rewarded with large rent increases in exchange for evicting people from their homes. The system invites speculation and drives up housing costs. And rent stabilization only applies to certain types of housing in just eight counties statewide. Millions have no protection at all from unfair rent increases or sudden evictions,” Nixon said on her website.
“Since Andrew Cuomo took office, we have lost at least 75,000 units of rent stabilized housing,” says Nixon’s website.
A New York City stabilized apartment unit’s vacancy decontrol threshold is currently set at $2,733. When the unit hits that threshold, the state protections for tenants in them disappear, Nixon’s website says.
“This creates a perverse incentive for landlords to do all in their power to raise rents, push out rent-stabilized tenants, and bring apartments into the open market.”
Nixon’s website says that she will “work with state lawmakers to create and pass legislation to re-regulate all of the apartments that are still rentals and were lost as a result of vacancy decontrol. Legislation will also strengthen the rent registration system and will eliminate the four year limitation on a tenant’s ability to challenge a rent overcharge.”