City Supports Rent Control, Tenant Protections

NEWBURGH – The Newburgh City Council last Monday night went on record supporting rent control and tenants’ rights protection.

Council members voted to urge the state to enact those measures.

Juanita Lewis, community coordinator for Community Voices Heard, said residents need those protections.

“There are only four places in New York State that have any form of rent control, rent stabilization, tenant protections, which is New York City, Westchester, Nassau and Rockland counties. Anywhere else in the state, tenants aren’t protected, so by that I mean if a tenant wanted to make a complaint about repairs not being done by a landlord without fear of eviction, they would still live in sub-standard housing because they would be kicked out because of the retaliation,” Lewis said.

Michael Acevedo of Newburgh, president of the Orange County Landlords Association, said landlords have rights too.

“I sit here and listen t people complain about landlords. Landlords have complaints about tenants and I don’t think we speak up enough. I think landlords should be held accountable.

We have inspections. You have code compliance to protect the tenants,” Acevedo said. “Who protects the landlords?”

Mayor Torrance Harvey had a strong warning for slumlords – the city will come down on them when violations are found.

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