COVID-19: NYC Quote of the Day 2020-08-18

Tuesday, August 18, 2020, NYC Mayor de Blasio - Will the Glut of Apartments Nullify the Vacancy Rate?

Question: I'm getting a lot of questions from listeners, friends, even my family, about the glut of apartments that are now on the market. I think they're estimating about 13,000, the highest number in 14 years. And with construction resuming, the glut will inevitably grow. The majority of both the existing and future units are luxury or market rate, but the Emergency Tenant Protection Act doesn't really distinguish, when it's invoked, between rent levels. So the median household rent for the million stabilized apartments is about $30,000 a year and about 60 percent of section eight units are stabilized. Can you give any details, if you have a contingency plan, in case this happens and the vacancy rate is nullified? What's going to happen to the 20,000+plus controlled apartments because they are seniors living on fixed incomes mostly, and they're controlled by the State auspices?

Mayor: I think I can say this with assurance, especially given the Legislature we now have in Albany. It's inconceivable to me that there would be any diminution of rent stabilization or rent control. I thought what you were going to say is, with all of these vacancies occurring, are rent levels in the market going to start to go down. But it's a fair question, could it be a legal trigger? Even if that is possible, I don't have a doubt in my mind that the Legislature will immediately create continuity with our current approach to rent stabilization and rent control. We absolutely need that in New York City. If there was any question about that, I, and many others, would be in Albany fighting for it immediately. But I'm quite confident they will help us continue to protect tenants.
Edited for redundancy, grammar, and emphasis
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