Mayor, tenants debate merits of new law in OssiningPosted: Updated:
The mayor of Ossining and members of the community are at opposite ends of a debate regarding a law that protects certain renters in the village.
Mayor Victoria Gearity has announced that she wants to replace the Emergency Tenant Protection Act with something that would help more people.
The initiative was voted on and passed in September. It limits rent increases for about 2,000 tenants in Ossining's ETPA housing and guarantees their right to renew a lease. It also allows seniors and those with disabilities to become exempt from rent increases.
Gearity tells News 12 she is concerned that the new law could lead to a property tax hike. She says landlords of ETPA housing could see a drop in property value and other village residents would have to make up for that loss.
Advocates of the plan say that isn't happening.
"There's 20 communities in Westchester that have it," says Dennis Hanratty, of Mount Vernon Tenants United. "It's not hurting villages tax-wise. It's actually providing stable homes for so many people in our communities."
Longtime residents of some houses also tell News 12 that repealing ETPA could force them to move out of Ossining.
Gearity has not offered specifics on how the law would be changed.
The Board of Trustees, however, held a meeting Wednesday night to discuss whether a public hearing is needed to discuss repealing the ETPA.