Rudy Trashes Rent Decontrol Compromise

Daily News Staff Writer

Mayor Giuliani yesterday rejected a potential compromise in the battle to save state rent laws, saying the protections must be maintained for 2 million tenants.

The mayor said it was "unacceptable" to lift the ceiling on rent hikes for units where tenants move out or die because that would eventually eliminate the protections.

However, Giuliani said it was "a good sign" that state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, who has threatened to let rent laws expire June 15, has signaled new willingness to compromise.

"We are urging Sen. Bruno and the Senate and the Assembly to continue rent stabilization completely for everyone, protect everyone," Giuliani said at City Hall.

Bruno (R-Rensselaer) warned that outright renewal "is not going to happen."

But Bruno, who first demanded a two-year phase-out in exchange for dropping the June 15 expiration, added he "would be willing to consider a lengthier transition in the context of a negotiated resolution."

Giuliani's statements represent the latest effort by the mayor to aid tenants without attacking fellow Republicans trying to end regulations.

The exchange came a day after Bruno softened his initial threat, hinting he might accept vacancy decontrol, enabling tenants to keep their apartments for years.

But even as he offered willingness to compromise, Bruno said he was "not locked in" to a deal on vacancy decontrol.

Bruno criticized Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) for holding to an all-or-nothing demand for renewal of the rent laws.

"Such an unwillingness to negotiate . . . makes it more likely that the laws governing rent controls will lapse on June 15," Bruno warned.

Original Story Date: 042097
Original Story Section: City Central