To the Editor,
Earlier this week, the Village Board discussed Westchester County’s affordable housing model ordinance provisions for local governments. While the Village looks to support new housing opportunities, it is also important that we preserve existing affordable housing.
In 2003, the Village declared a housing emergency and adopted the Emergency Tenant Protection Act. Since then, the challenges for tenants have only grown, with market rents growing much faster than the rate of inflation.
The Emergency Tenants Protection Act provides for rent stabilization, limiting increases in rent for building built before 1974 to what is approved by the County Rent Guidelines Board. Income-eligible seniors and residents with disabilities may be totally exempted from rent increases.
ETPA communities set a minimum number of units in a building to require ETPA coverage. Currently, our Village law applies rent stabilization only to buildings with 50 or more units. Most other ETPA communities apply rent stabilization to buildings with 6 or more units—the minimum allowed by the state.
At the 11/23/15 Work Session, the Board discussed expanding the law adopted by the Village in 2003 to cover more housing units. I hope that the Board can revisit the Emergency Tenant Protection Act before the end of the year.
New York’s property tax cap, which limits the growth of property taxes, was established with the objective of keeping people in their homes. Rent stabilization, by controlling the growth of rents, will do the same for our Village tenants.