Posted by MikeW on January 14, 1997 at 22:55:04:
In Reply to: Re: Rent Regulation Renewal posted by TenantNet on January 14, 1997 at 07:42:00:
: : Does anyone have any inside information on what's happening with the renewal of the
: : rent laws. I've read whats been said in the papers (Bruno's comments Et Al,) but
: : I figure most of that is posturing. I asked State Senator Roy Goodman about
: : this during last year's campaign, but go nothing of substance. Does anyone have
: : any idea if the current laws will get through the Senate more or less intact,
: : or are they history?
: You're right, right now a lot of it is hysteria and posturing --
: mostly to allow Pataki to appear in the middle and to allow
: NY Assembly Speaker Shel Silver to appear as a friend of tenants
: (which is not too believable given the Real Estate money the
: Democratic Political Action Committees rake in). But in the end
: it is expected he will compromise to a further serious weakening
: of the rent laws unless tenants send him a message. Silver is
: the key and he does have the power to hold the line, but it
: seems unlikely to most insiders that he will do so.
: If you're aware of what has happened, in 1993 the laws were
: weakened with the High Rent/High Income Decontrol. Given that
: both the Cuomo and now Pataki administrations undermined DHCR
: where it's nothing but a shell catering to landlords, you
: sometimes have to wonder if it makes sense supporting a
: bureaucracy that hurts you. To make things worse, many of
: the "regular" Democrat politicans who may vote the right
: way and give good speeches, nonetheless are doing nothing
: when it comes to putting themselves on the line for their
: constituents' homes and shelter. Do you really expect that
: they would? Many of the downstate Dems are committee chairmen
: with big offices and big staffs. Would they risk losing those
: by bucking the Democratic leadership to do the right thing?
: So in the end they refuse to deal with the abuses of DHCR and
: Housing Court. Goodman knows where his bread is buttered
: (who is constituents are) and historically the Republican
: Party has allowed him to do this.
: The politicans (particularly the so-called liberal Democrats)
: will not make things work until tenants force them to do so,
: and they know tenants have not been hurt enough. As long as
: the party can maintain the fiction that there's a bureaucracy
: that will protect them, they and their power base (the party) will
: keep their jobs -- which is what it's about in the end from
: their perspective.
: Don't pack your bags yet, it is expected the laws will stay in
: place, but in an almost meaningless fashion.
Are the assembly democrats really a factor here. The rent laws are going to
live or die in the senate. In isolation, I sure Joe Bruno would love to kill
rent regulation. What might save it is the fact that there are a lot of other
things going on in the legislature (ie. budget, welfare reform, etc..) Rent
regulation may be used as a barganing chip in larger battles.
Has anyone thought about the political effects of the end of rent regulation?
One of the big factors assumed to be working in favor of renewal is the perception
of a huge electoral backlash if regulation is killed. At this point, the players
is this battle are fixed. There are no major elections till well over a year after
the rent laws expire. If you look down the line, politician by politician, the
republicans may not have that much to worry about by killing regulation:
- Giuliani: Since he supported Cuomo over Pataki, he gave himself a
Significant degree of political insulation from the activities of the
mainstream republicans. Is also not that major a player in this game.
- Pataki: Seen as the biggest loser in a big electoral backlash, but is
this really true? In '92, he won the election while losing the city.
This may mean that he does not feel that screwing around with city
voters will change the electoral equation. There may also be a fair
amount of animosity toward city voters stemming from there overwhelming
- City Republican State Senators: Most of these guys are from more
conservative, homeowning parts of the city. They ran mostly uncontested
last November. The one most on the bubble is Roy Goodman. He's made
his career largely on defending regulation in the Senate. But he's
thought of as pro-renter and probably would survive.
One last issue. What would be the demographic effects of the end of rent
regulation. Undoubtedly, a large number of people would have to move, many
out of the city. Since average rent would almost certainly rise, they would
most likely be replaced by people who are richer, younger, and more conservative.
Since most significant elections lately have been settled by very small margins,
what would be the long term prospects for the for the Democrats, especially
at the state level. By the time the next state wide election is held, well over
half the people who will be displaced will have to move. This could be the
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