Rent Curbs Get
Panel Backing

Bowing to tenants who face an unprecedented threat to rent protections, a City Council committee yesterday voted a largely symbolic renewal of the rules that restrict rent hikes on more than 1 million apartments.

Committee members also voted their support for a measure that would make it tougher for landlords to impose large rent hikes on luxury units that become vacant.

The full Council is poised to approve the Housing and Building Committee actions, setting the stage for an expected signing by Mayor Giuliani before an April 1 reauthorization deadline.

But the fate of the rent laws will be decided this summer in Albany, where the state Senate's Republican majority has threatened to let the protections expire June 15.

State Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno (R-Rensselaer) has vowed repeatedly to allow the expiration unless state lawmakers agree to a two-year phaseout of the half-century-old rent protection system.

Original Story Date: 031597
Original Story Section: City Central