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Rent overhaul signals a 'tectonic shift' of real estate's power in Albany

“It’s a humbling moment for the political strategy of the real estate industry,” said Neal Kwatra, a prominent Democratic operative. “From a pure politics perspective, the bill creates a potentially tectonic shift in the future power dynamics between affordable housing advocates and [real estate].”

State lawmakers are poised to usher through a package of wide-spanning changes to strengthen the rent-regulation system and expand tenant protections — ending key provisions to laws that have long been shaped by the industry’s outsize influence on Albany. Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he would sign the package, all but ensuring it will become law.

The changes signal a major shift in the balance of power that has long prevailed in New York, as lawmakers move to alter a series of landlord-friendly changes passed in recent decades. Tenant activists have pushed to reverse those provisions for years, but their proposals were continually blocked under the Republican-controlled state Senate.


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