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Members of the Progressive Caucus sent a letter urging Governor Cuomo to sign two bills that passed during the last New York State legislative session intended to combat the growing use of residences for illegal transient use. Text below:

VICTORY: On October 21st, Governor Cuomo signed this legislation that would fine those who violate the multiple dwellings law up to $7,500 for listing an entire apartment online for stays less than 30 days.

Dear Governor Cuomo,

Members of the New York City Council’s Progressive Caucus urge you to sign Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal and Senator Andrew J. Lanza’s legislation (A8704-C/ S6340-A) that will enable the city to recapture thousands of housing units illegally rented on short-term rental sites like Airbnb. We support this effort to empower investigators to crack down on illegal operators before illicit transactions occur. This groundbreaking measure will go a long way toward stopping the proliferation of illegal hotels that currently puts affordable housing at risk.

New York City faces a housing crisis, which without substantive and immediate action from the State will continue to worsen over the next decade. Vacancy deregulation has led to widespread harassment, as landlords aggressively push tenants out of their homes and communities in order to remove units from rent regulation. Illegal hotels pose a grave threat to our city’s already limited stock of affordable housing, encourage landlord harassment, and create building-wide security, safety, and nuisance issues that disrupt the quality of life for tenants.

The City has committed significant investments to reducing the nearly 26,000 illegal listings currently available online and accounting for nearly 2% of Manhattan’s housing stock. In addition to inspection efforts and litigation against the most egregious illegal hotel operators, this legislation would be another tool at our disposal to prevent this practice from further inflating property values and displacing tenants.

We write you in support of legislation that examines and penalizes serial bad actors that are warehousing apartments for illegal use. Please join us by signing AM Rosenthal and Senator Lanza’s bills to help curb the rampant growth of this illegal profiteering.

WHAT PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS MEMBERS SAY:

“New York City residents are in desperate need of affordable housing. Every unit that exists should be made available to New Yorkers, not used as an illegal hotel, driving up already high housing prices,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “This legislation will go a long way in getting affordable housing units back on the market. I urge Governor Cuomo to sign this legislation and help New York City residents fight illegal hotels.”

“With an unprecedented housing crisis on our hands, we need to confront operators who are driving up rents and keeping apartments off the market,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “We cannot allow these operations to continue harming our affordable housing stock. Many of the listings on sites like Airbnb are already in violation of State law, so we should be looking for creative, effective solutions to stop them. Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal’s bill is one such example, and I commend her and our State Legislature for its work on this critical issue.”

“Airbnb has flouted the laws that protect affordable housing for years, and now with new legislation to further crack down on the proliferation of illegal short-term rentals, I urge Governor Cuomo to send a strong message that New York prioritizes hard working New York families by signing this bill into law,” Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer said. “It will give our city another strong tool to crack down on illegal hotels and preserve affordable housing.”

IN THE NEWS

NY Daily News, New York City Council’s progressive caucus pushes Cuomo to sign anti-Airbnb law

NY State of Politics, Labor Leaders, Lawmakers Urge Cuomo To Back Airbnb Bill

NY Daily News, Airbnb’s new ad campaign urging Gov. Cuomo to veto crackdown bill will use hosts to tout benefits of home-sharing

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