Ahead of Mother’s Day, dozens of mothers and their children attended a protest outside Governor Kathy Hochul’s New York City office May 6 to demand rent relief and protection from eviction.
New York State is currently facing historic numbers of evictions, and following a preliminary vote by the New York City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) on Thursday many tenants are concerned about the status of their housing.
“The pandemic still isn’t over. Inflation is going through the roof. Tenants are one check away from being homeless,” said Cynthia Norris, Lead Community Organizer at New York Communities for Change. “Parents are having to tell their kids that they may need to live on the street. Strong protections for tenants are the best Mother’s Day gift Governor Hochul can give us.”
The preliminary vote by the RGB would allow landlords and property owners in NYC to increase rent in stabilized housing by up to 6% in some cases, which could be devastating to vulnerable tenants who would be unable to afford to live in their homes – especially during the economic crisis caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Those attending the rally spoke to their extreme concerns about the stability of their lives and how their children would fare if their families were forced to be displaced, and called on Gov. Hochul to support the Good Cause legislation.
“This Mother’s Day, when rent is at an all-time high, there are mothers looking at their children and wondering how they’ll keep them in their home,” said Celina Trowell, Homeless Union Organizer at VOCAL-NY, who spoke at the rally. “Can you imagine being a mom and not knowing what the future holds? We’re urging Governor Hochul to have some heart, tap into her mothering instincts, and support Good Cause [a proposed bill to end no-fault evictions] now to protect families from eviction. Especially when women’s reproductive rights are under attack, New York has the responsibility to look after mothers.”
Black, Brown, Immigrant and working mothers are at the highest risk of eviction, with a study indicating that Black women are more likely than any other demographic group to be evicted. With the proposed Good Cause legislation, landlords would have to justify any rental increase of over 3% and allow tenants to take their landlords to court if they attempt to evict a tenant for not paying a new, higher raise.
“With rents spiraling out of control, mothers across New York need Albany to step in now to keep a roof over their heads,” said Cea Weaver, Campaign Coordinator for Housing Justice for All. “Governor Hochul is a mother and a grandmother. She knows how hard mothers work for their families, and how much pain an eviction inflicts on both parents and children. This Mother’s Day, we’re calling on Governor Hochul to help moms stay in their homes by standing up for tenants and backing Good Cause.”
Gov. Hochul’s office offered a statement in response to the remarks made by protesters, emphasizing the state does not appoint delegates to the RGB, nor does the state have authority over the RGB.
“Governor Hochul is committed to addressing longstanding housing inequities and ensuring that every New Yorker has access to affordable housing options—working closely with the legislature to enact a State Budget that includes a sweeping, five-year, $25 billion plan to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes, $800 million in additional funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program which to date has distributed more than $1.9 billion, and $35 million to create an Eviction Prevention Legal Assistance Fund,” said the spokesperson. “The Governor will continue to work with the legislature and leaders in local government to increase affordable and alternative housing supply so that low- and moderate-income New Yorkers can secure and remain in safe and stable housing.”
Last updated 5/6/2022 3:53 pm