Poughkeepsie Common Council unanimously opts into rent stabilization

The rent control will apply to about 1,500 units throughout the city.

News 12 Staff

Jun 19, 2024, 4:31 PM

Updated 34 days ago


The Poughkeepsie Common Council took a major step Tuesday night to address the city's housing needs by unanimously adopting rent stabilization. The move will allow the city to create a Rent Guidelines Board that will set the maximum rent for landlords to increase on certain units each year.
The rent control will apply to about 1,500 units throughout the city.
“Rampant rent-gouging in recent years has forced too many Poughkeepsie families to choose between paying the rent and other essentials,” Housing Justice for All Coalition director Cea Weaver said. "With rent stabilization in place, landlords won’t get away with pushing long-time tenants out of their homes just to turn a bigger profit. This is a strong step towards bringing stability to the housing market in Poughkeepsie."
The decision followed an April housing vacancy study that found less than 4% of rentable units in protected buildings were vacant.
That report allowed the city to opt into the Emergency Tenant Protect Act. Eligibility for the ETPA is triggered when a municipality can establish a vacancy rate of less than 5% in buildings built before 1974 with six or more units.
The Hudson Valley Property Owners Association, a nonprofit that advocates for the interest of business and property owners, has led several challenges in other municipalities that approved similar rent control measures.
HVPOA executive director Rich Lanzarone told News 12 in a statement: "The Poughkeepsie Council’s action last night was totally illegal. We know this because the internal documents HVPOA obtained via the Freedom of Information law show that the City ignored 55 vacancies documented in their own records. The City’s own survey documents show the vacancy rate is over 7%. This is rate exceeds the City’s legal authority to enact ETPA."
Lanzarone added his organization and other affected owners will file an Article 78 lawsuit in state Supreme Court "shortly."
According to state law, the Common Council has 30 days to appoint a local Rent Guidelines Board, including tenants, property owners and elected officials.

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