De Blasio Urges Albany to Act on Rent Rules, Schools

ALBANY (AP) -
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday talks to the media outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office after a meeting at the state Capitol. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday talks to the media outside Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office after a meeting at the state Capitol. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday urged Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers to strengthen his city’s rent regulations and modify a real estate tax break to require more affordable housing, saying there is no excuse for inaction on issues affecting millions of residents.

De Blasio traveled to the capital city to press his case personally, meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top lawmakers weeks before three laws of great significance to the city are set to expire in June. One governs longstanding rent stabilization rules that cover 2 million renters, another gives de Blasio control of the city’s public education system, and the third authorizes a real estate tax break that saved New York City developers more than $1 billion last year.

Many lawmakers predict the laws will simply be temporarily extended with few changes, but the mayor told reporters on Wednesday that would be a wasted opportunity. De Blasio wants to strengthen the rent rules, modify the tax break to require developers to include more affordable housing units, and make mayoral control of schools permanent, though he said Wednesday that he is willing to accept a three-year extension.

De Blasio called out Cuomo specifically. The two men profess their friendship publicly, but have frequently clashed.

“We particularly need the governor to act,” he said. “We need leadership. We know the governor has been able in the past to create real change here in Albany and get things done. This is a moment when we need that leadership.”