KINGSTON – On Thursday, May 25th, grassroots organization For the Many held two Kingston rallies in support of passing critical housing and climate legislation before the state legislative session ends, including Good Cause Eviction and the NY HEAT Act.
At 12pm, For the Many rallied at their office with the NY Renews coalition to celebrate the passage of the Build Public Renewables Act in this month’s budget and call for the passage of the full Climate, Jobs & Justice package, including the NY HEAT Act. They were joined by Assemblywoman Sarahana Shrestha, Ulster County Legislator Phil Erner, and Alderwoman Michele Hirsch.
At 6pm, For the Many rallied in Academy Green Park with Mid-Hudson Valley DSA and over 100 Kingston tenants for the passage of Good Cause Eviction—which would bar evictions and rent hikes above a certain threshold without good cause, with an exception for small owner-occupied buildings—before the end of the state legislative session. Afterwards, they held a barbecue with free food, music, and toys for kids.
They were joined by Assemblywoman Shrestha, Mayor Steve Noble, Alderwoman Michele Hirsch, mayoral candidate Frank Waters, Common Council candidate for Ward 1 Charlotte Lloyd, and Rent Guidelines Board tenant representative and Stony Run Tenants Union organizing committee member Carol Soto.
“I’ve worked with so many Kingston tenants struggling to afford our city’s skyrocketing rents and who are at risk of no-cause eviction,” said Diana Lopez, Kingston community organizer with For the Many and Rent Guidelines Board member. “With the city’s local Good Cause Eviction law gone, it’s time for Governor Hochul and the state legislature to step up and pass it before the session is over.”
“Mid-Hudson Valley DSA is calling on Hochul to get out of the way and on the legislature to pass Good Cause Eviction,” said Eli King, an organizer with Mid-Hudson Valley DSA.
“Everyone deserves a place to live. The failure to pass this bill threatens to take that away from us.”
“Tenants statewide are getting displaced at an alarming rate because of landlords significantly increasing rents or turning units into profitable short-term rentals,” said Assemblywoman Sarahana Shrestha. “Young and old residents alike are struggling to stay, and those looking to buy their first home can’t compete against LLCs and NYC landlords who are swooping up properties left and right. Good Cause Eviction is a common sense bill that was always meant to be passed at the state level, where the court won’t be able to throw it out. The bill protects tenants against price-gouging and arbitrary evictions, and also protects good landlords by giving them a clearly defined list of good causes, such as non-payment of rent, nuisance, and personal use, which can be used to evict a tenant. Furthermore, the enactment of this legislation will significantly improve the efficiency of housing courts, first by providing clear grounds for eviction, and second by decreasing the number of eviction cases overall, as we have seen in New Jersey. Just like insulin and food, housing is an essential need and the law must treat it as such.”
“In January of 2022, the City of Kingston was one of the first communities in Ulster County to enact Good Cause legislation, and, as in municipalities across the State, our local law was challenged and ultimately revoked,” said Kingston Mayor Steve Noble. “I believe it’s imperative that New York State take up Good Cause legislation so that all communities have these vital protections in place. We are doing everything we can on the local level to protect our tenants, but we need this support on the State level. Every single person deserves a safe place to live and we want to ensure that no one in Kingston is displaced who wants to remain here. Good Cause would help us provide basic human rights and keep our community members housed.”
“Kingston tenants like me need strong protections from eviction and rent hikes,” said Charlotte Lloyd, Democratic candidate for Kingston Common Council Ward 1. “After my landlords raised my rent by 10%, I now pay them 60% of my income. That’s not sustainable, and like so many of my neighbors at the Stony Run apartments, I may soon be forced out of Kingston. That’s why I’m running for Common Council—to fight for my home and the homes of my neighbors. As Ward 1’s next alderwoman, I’ll work to make rent stabilization permanent, restore the 15% rent reduction, and support efforts to pass Good Cause Eviction and other tenant protections in the state legislature.”