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Statement: CVH Condemns Albany Court Decision That Strikes Down Basic Tenant Protections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact: Alison Wilkey, 646-541-4991, alison@cvhaction.org


COMMUNITY VOICES HEARD CONDEMNS ALBANY COURT DECISION THAT STRIKES DOWN BASIC TENANT PROTECTIONS


March 2, 2023 (NEW YORK, NY) – Community Voices Heard (CVH) condemns the decision of the Appellate Division, Third Department of the Supreme Court of New York for subverting democracy and overturning the Albany “Good Cause Eviction” law that protects renters from unjust evictions.


In Pusatere et al v. The City of Albany et al., the Appellate Court sustained the lower court’s decision, finding that Albany cannot pass a law prohibiting landlords from evicting residents without good cause. Although these tenant protections are completely legal, the judge found that Albany does not have the power to pass this law because existing State law preempts it. This leaves Albany residents without the protections that tenants and their local elected officials fought to enact, and could have devastating consequences for other municipalities facing similar lawsuits.


“Once again, a court has overturned the democratic process and the will of the people. Albany tenants fought hard to pass laws to help protect tenants – just like tenants in Newburgh, Beacon, and Poughkeepsie,” said CVH Executive Director Juanita O. Lewis. “This puts tenants immediately at risk of eviction. Our state elected officials cannot continue to ignore the housing crisis. Now more than ever, State legislators must pass Good Cause protections statewide.”


After today’s decision, the State must immediately act to pass statewide eviction protections in the budget before the end of March. We urge the State to pass Good Cause and the Housing Access Voucher Program. These laws will help New Yorkers pay the rent, fight for decent living conditions, and have access to permanent, stable homes.


These tenant protection measures are critical and they work. In the absence of action by our State elected officials, this court decision leaves Albany tenants – and tenants around the state – vulnerable to eviction.


We’d like to thank the Legal Aid Society for defending the rights of tenants and representing Community Voices Heard and the interests of our members in this case. Together with our partners at the Legal Aid Society and the Housing Justice for All coalition, we won’t stop fighting for all New York State tenants.


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Community Voices Heard (CVH) is a member-led, multi-racial organization principally comprised of women of color and low-income families in New York State. CVH tackles tough issues and builds power to secure racial, social, and economic justice for all New Yorkers. Through grassroots organizing, leadership development, policy changes, and creating new models of direct democracy CVH is creating a truly equitable New York State.


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