Cuomo’s Promise to End Decontrol

The Story

Governor Cuomo made a surprise announcement last week: he will support a bill to end vacancy decontrol in New York City. In effect since 1994, the vacancy-decontrol policy deregulates apartment rents (once they have reached a certain threshold) when tenants move out, leaving it to the market to establish a new rate. More than 150,000 apartments have been deregulated under this rule. Rent regulation has been the largest single cause of the housing crisis in New York City. Letting the market set rents—instead of the government—would free up existing housing and give builders incentive to build more. The governor should reconsider his position.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Crisis: 63% of all of New York City’s rental units are regulated, and the housing crisis is as dire as ever. Read more.

  2. Move: Because of regulated rents, New York City has the lowest housing turnover of any large city in the country. Read more.

  3. Build: Spending on new construction in New York City boomed after the passage of vacancy decontrol in 1994. Read more.

“A less-regulated NYC housing market would, over time, alleviate its constant sense of crisis and desperation.”

Howard Husock, Manhattan Institute vice president, research and publications

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

The Frozen City By Howard Husock (Special Issue 2013)

“Misguided policies keep some New Yorkers in subsidized apartments and raise costs for everyone else.”

And in other news...

“The base fare of a bus or subway ride could go up to $3 next March, as commuters get set to pay more for public transportation for the sixth time in a decade.”