Human InterestThe White Plains Examiner

Tenants, Officials Call for Passage of Law to Protect Renters

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By Louise Rose Grant

Clutching battery operated candles, a crowd of Westchester County residents, along with federal, state and local political leaders, came together last Thursday night to urge Governor Kathy Hochul to sign into law tenant protection rights for the state’s roughly two million renters.

Gathered on the steps of a local community center in White Plains April 13, tenants spoke of sudden and inexplicable rent hikes or evictions imposed by landlords forcing families to quickly vacate their homes.

A 21-year-old resident said she was forced to leave her family home in northern Westchester and had no ability to delay or negotiate the process.

“You can hire lawyers, but nothing can be done because there are no laws to protect us,” she said.

Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-16th District) joined the group, imploring them to continue to fight for protection laws.

“We should be able to provide affordable housing,” Bowman said. “For people like us, it is common sense why we must pass this law, common sense. First and foremost, this is about the lives of human beings and working-class people in our state. And number two, we are a very wealthy state, with many very wealthy cities, in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world.”

The so-called Good Cause law before Hochul gives tenants the right to renew their lease and prevents landlords from evicting tenants for unpaid rent when their rent is hiked past a certain percent.

According to, an eviction dashboard that requires all municipalities to update weekly, more than 20,000 eviction warrants have been issued so far in 2023.  Included in that number are tenants throughout northern and southern Westchester.

“We need for Governor Hochul to do the right thing and pass the Good Cause law,” Bowman said.

Also in the crowd were New York State Assemblyman Steven Otis (D-91st) and Assemblywoman Dana Levenberg(D-95th), who both support the passage of the Good Cause law.

Otis, whose district includes parts of the Hudson Valley, said state lawmakers were largely in favor of the bill.

“The legislators want to improve tenant’s rights and support the right to lease renewal,” he said.

“We will be back in session on Monday,” Levenberg said. “I’m hoping on some action will be taken.”

Two weeks after the April 1 deadline, state lawmakers have failed to agree on a budget, something Otis and Levenberg hope will be rectified this week.






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