It's the Law: Pataki Signs Rent-Control Bill

Newsday, June 21, 1997
After seven months of raucous debate, New York State officially got a new rent law Friday more quietly, when Gov. George Pataki signed the bill.

State lawmakers needed just a few hours to approve the controversial bill Thursday night, though it took four days of tense, closed-door negotiations to turn the deal announced early Monday into a bill.

Appearing at the opening of a Staten Island paper recycling mill on Friday morning, Pataki told reporters he had just signed the bill. "It's a great bill and it's going to help all New Yorkers," he said.

Pataki also said the agreement should encourage real estate developers, "because we are telling them we won't change the laws, we won't change the rules if they're willing to make the investment to create additional affordable housing for the people of New York City."

The law protects rent limits for virtually all of the 2.7 million tenants living in regulated apartments, most of them in New York City, Nassau County, and Westchester. The bill eliminates rent limits for households earning at least $175,000 and paying $2,000 in rent, grants landlords the right to raise rents on certain vacant apartments at least 20 percent and stiffens penalties against tenant harassment.