Kingston Signs Good Cause Eviction Legislation

KINGSTON – On Tuesday, January 25th, the City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble signed Good Cause Eviction legislation at the urging of community members, tenants, and the grassroots organization For the Many. This comes after the law was passed by the Common Council during a special session earlier this month.

The Council passed the legislation unanimously, with Aldermen Barbara Hill, Carl Frankel, Reynolds Scott-Childress, Rita Worthington, Naimah Muhammad, Tony Davis, Michael Olivieri, Steven Schabot, and Michele Hirsch all voting in favor.

The Good Cause Eviction law passed in Kingston is modeled after legislation that has been passed in the cities of Albany, Poughkeepsie, and Newburgh, and is currently pending in Ithaca, Ulster County, and other municipalities. The legislation aims to bolster tenant rights by protecting against unfair evictions and predatory rent increases.

The law states that landlords shall not remove tenants except under several listed circumstances, such as the tenant violating an obligation of their lease, or the landlord wanting to reclaim the property for personal use. The law also prevents evictions in cases in which the tenant fails to pay rent due to a pattern of “unconscionable” rent increases.

Advocates and local elected officials stress that these new protections were urgently needed as the statewide eviction moratorium expires on January 15th. In preparation for that date, they are encouraging tenants to know their rights, utilize legal services, avoid self-evicting, and stay in their homes without a legal court order forcing them to vacate.

“The Common Council and Mayor took the steps needed to protect Kingston residents from the looming threat of the end of the eviction moratorium,” said Brahvan Ranga, Political Coordinator at For the Many. “These protections offer tenants the tools necessary to protect their right to housing. We urge tenants to stay in their homes unless legally evicted, and utilize these protections in their dealings with landlords”.

“The COVID pandemic has exposed that our housing market is setup to abandon thousands of tenants to make a quick profit, even when there is an emergency”, said Sarahana Shrestha, candidate for State Assembly District 103. “We should have passed Good Cause Eviction at the state level last legislative session, but we did not, and with the state legislature dragging its heels again, it was incumbent on Kingston to protect tenants and pass local Good Cause Eviction.

“I want to thank our community partners, especially For the Many and Citizen Action, who stood with us through this process. I am proud to sign Good Cause Eviction legislation, and to know that we are doing everything in our power to protect our tenants. During this time of great uncertainty and change, it’s more important than ever to safeguard our community, to ensure that no one in Kingston is displaced who wants to remain here,” said Steve Noble, Mayor of the City of Kingston. “Everyone deserves a safe place to live, and it’s my hope that this legislation will help keep all of our community members housed as we work on many other initiatives locally. Tackling the housing issues our community faces will take a village, and I’m proud to work with the organizations partnering with the City in these efforts.”

The legislation will enter into effect immediately after it is filed with the Secretary of State .

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