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De Blasio, Cuomo call for stronger rent regulations

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio heads

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio heads to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office in the state Capitol during a visit to Albany on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. Credit: AP/ Mike Groll

Addressing rent-control supporters in Harlem, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio Saturday urged them to rally against Albany lawmakers who do not support stronger rent regulations and who may even want to end them.

"Brothers and sisters, you are here for a noble cause to keep this city for everyone," the mayor said. "Too many people are being pushed out of this city."

Two million people in regulated units will "go unprotected" if Albany does not support stronger rent-control laws, he said. "There are still people out there in Albany who are talking about ending rent control."

The current rent laws expire June 15. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in an opinion column Saturday wrote that he supports stronger laws that will stop landlords from deregulating their apartments when they become vacant and charging market-rate rents.

"The protection of affordable housing has been a passion of mine for over 30 years," the governor wrote in the Daily News. He said if stronger rent-control laws are not instituted, the city faces the threat of losing over 100,000 more affordable housing units.

Cuomo added that if the legislature does not vote on new rent-control legislation after the session ends this month, "I will call them back into session every day if necessary until tenants are protected with new regulations."

The mayor said he also wanted to see an end to "vacancy decontrol," which allows a landlord of a rent-controlled apartment to "turn it into a luxury apartment" when it becomes unoccupied.

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