“Today, my Council colleagues and I went to Albany to tell the State legislature and our leaders in Albany that we need to not only renew the New York City rent protection laws that expire next month, but also to strengthen them.

“First, I want to thank my colleagues Council Members Margaret Chin, Jumaane D. Williams, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Daniel Dromm, Jimmy Van Bramer, Gale Brewer, Letitia James, Ydanis Rodriguez and Brad Lander for joining me in Albany today on this important matter.

“Right now there are millions of New York City renters who are worried that if these rent laws aren’t renewed that the future of their homes will be in jeopardy. It’s critical that this issue gets addressed immediately in a way that supports New York City as a renter city.

“We need the legislature to help us. If we could do it in the City Council, we would do it in a heartbeat, but the power rests with the State legislature and we need them to act immediately.

“Not only do our rent laws need to be renewed, but now is the time to strengthen them. A number of years ago rent protections were weakened, particularly through vacancy de-control. That change in rent protection has lost us hundreds of thousands of affordable units in our City — ones we are never going to get back again. That means there are less affordable apartments for families. And every year under this current law, we will lose more and more. We can’t let this devastating trend continue.

“So not only should we renew our current laws, but we also need to improve them by eliminating vacancy decontrol and extend protections to buildings leaving Section 8 and Mitchell Lama programs – not just the ones built before 1974. Without these buildings, there will be significant losses in housing equality and affordability in our five boroughs and we just can’t risk that.”