Friday, August 2, 2019

Rent Stabilization and Hudson

Yesterday, the Albany Business reported that Kingston may be the first municipality to move forward on rent stabilization under the newly enacted Statewide Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 by undertaking an apartment vacancy study: "Albany isn't ready, but Kingston is pursuing rent stabilization."

Meanwhile, here in Hudson, Rebecca Garrard of Citizen Action was at the Common Council Housing and Transportation meeting on July 1o to discuss the significance of the new legislation, and in particular rent stabilization. The criteria for a municipality adopting rent stabilization is a 5 percent or less vacancy rate in buildings built before 1974 that have six units or more. The first step is a study to determine how many buildings in Hudson meet the criteria and what the vacancy rate is for those buildings. Garrard suggested the study would cost $15,000. Alderman Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward), who chairs the committee, indicated an RFP for a vacancy study should be prepared.

The committee spoke of holding a forum to educate the public about the Statewide Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act. Alderman Eileen Halloran (Fifth Ward) asked that the session include building owners, suggesting that this could make for better tenant-owner relations. She brought up the possibility that regulations to protect tenants could have the unintended consequence of owners taking units off the market. Responding to Halloran, Garriga said, "This is just for the tenant, because the landlord is going to rent regardless." Audience member Kaya Weidman expressed concern about owners shifting from long-term to short-term rentals. Garrard acknowledged that was a possibility. 

The next meeting of the Housing and Transportation Committee had been scheduled for Wednesday, August 7, but today it was rescheduled for Thursday, August 15, at 5:00 p.m. There was been no notice of a change of venue, so for now it can be assumed that the meeting will take place at City Hall.

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