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For Immediate Release: April 20, 2024
Contact: press@socialists.nyc

STATEMENT: NYC-DSA Denounces Hochul’s Landlord Giveaway Budget

NEW YORK, N.Y. — The New York City Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (NYC-DSA) released the following statement regarding the “housing deal” the New York State Legislature passed in the New York State Budget today:

“This budget is a damning reflection of the stranglehold that the real estate industry has over New York politics.

For the past five years, we have been fighting for “Good Cause Eviction” alongside millions of working-class New Yorkers, a bill that provides a defense against rent increases and informal evictions through non renewal of leases. Governor Hochul’s version is “Good Cause Eviction” in name only — with major carve-outs to make it more palatable to the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and greedy landlords, leaving at least three million tenants unprotected.

The Governor’s housing plan puts a target on the backs of long-term rent stabilized tenants, by specifically incentivizing the displacement of 25-year-plus tenants, rolling back tenant wins from 2019, failing to get homeless New Yorkers out of shelters and into housing, and giving huge tax breaks to developers so they can continue to run our state. Over the past four years, real estate lobbyists have spent $13.6 million campaigning and directly lobbying New York state lawmakers. Their highest priority was defeating Good Cause Eviction, organizing one thousand lobbying meetings focused on that bill alone. They’ve effectively defeated it by watering it down.

We are proud that socialist State Senators Gonzalez and Brisport and Assemblymembers Mitaynes, Souffrant Forrest, Shrestha, and Mamdani voted “No” on the housing deal in the 2024 budget. They stand in stark contrast to Governor Hochul, who is bought out by the real estate lobby.

And Hochul’s bad budget gets worse: it failed to raise taxes on the rich; it put NYC public schools back into the hands of Eric Adams for two more years; it effectively cut the wages of childcare workers; it fuels mass incarceration by creating new felonies for retail crimes and new hate crimes classifications.

Nevertheless, socialists fought and won gains on other fronts, including eliminating the cost of copays for insulin (A.M. Souffrant Forrest), rejecting cuts to public schools upstate (A.M. Shrestha), restricting the use of deepfakes in elections and prohibiting the MTA from using biometric trackers to enforce fare evasion penalties (Sen. Gonzalez), a payment bump of 10–15% for childcare facilities that serve the unhoused or parents with nontraditional hours (Sen. Brisport), and creating a pathway to close as many as five prisons in the next year (Sen. Salazar) — all of which will make material changes in the lives of working people.

This budget is 20 days late because working-class New Yorkers stood up to Hochul and the Real Estate Lobby. Thousands of tenants across the state have taken action over the past week: sending over 5,300 letters, rallying in Albany, and organizing emergency actions in their communities. Together with inside pressure from our Socialists in Office, these efforts pushed back against Hochul’s gutting of the Good Cause — but a deal made with REBNY is still far from what working-class New Yorkers need to stay in their homes.

We need to actually meet the needs of working-class people in crisis across the state. We need more socialists in office: We’ll be fighting on the ground in Queens, Brooklyn, and the Bronx to elect pro-tenant socialists to the Assembly in June. We need more tenants in the fight and we need to organize our buildings. We need more legislation that changes the nature of our political system, like Green Social Housing (A.M. Gallagher) and Not on Our Dime (A.M. Mamdani).

No more false compromises; Join DSA, Keep fighting!”

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ABOUT NYC-DSA: New York City Democratic Socialists is the local chapter of Democratic Socialists of America—the largest socialist organization in the United States with over 85,000 members. NYC-DSA is run by its 6,000+ members and activists who are working together to build a democratic socialist organization in the five boroughs.