Chaos erupts at rent control protest in Albany

The New York State law which regulates about one million rent-stabilized apartments expires on June 15.

Hundreds of tenant activists flooded the State Capitol Tuesday.

Their chants echoed through the halls, some banged on Governor Cuomo’s office while State Troopers stood guard. The chaos eventually lead to scuffles and dozens of arrests.

Among them was New York City Public Advocate, Jumaane Williams.

The protestors are calling for the passage of ‘Universal Rent Control’—a collection of nine renter-friendly bills.

It’s more likely to pass now because Democrats have control in the State Legislature.

Advocates want to eliminate current provisions which allow landlords to raise rent when they make building-wide improvements or renovate apartments.

They argue these tactics are routinely used to jack up rents and push tenants out.

But Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have warned those provisions would deter building owners from investing in their buildings.

Others opposed say the changes would push landlords over the edge financially.

‘Universal Rent Control’ advocates also want the elimination of the so-called ‘vacancy decontrol,’ which allows for the deregulation of an apartment when a unit’s rent hits $2,733 a month and the tenant living in that rent-controlled apartment moves out.

Critics say vacancy decontrol has led to the deregulation of more than 155,000 units since it was enacted in 1994.