THE BRONX (PIX11) — For Anissa Bosmond and Dwight Page, it seemed like a dream come true when they found an apartment large enough for their family of 10, and the landlord accepted a housing voucher that would cover the family’s rent.
“When I got here, the first thing he explained to me is that he wanted a long-term family, not somebody that was going to come and stay a year or two and that’s the reason why I moved in here,” Page told PIX11.
A year later, the landlord asked the family to move.
“I got a little devastated,” Bosmond told PIX11. “I told my kids that we would never go back to the shelter.”
According to the family’s attorney with The Legal Aid Society, when their lease was up, the landlord refused to renew it and started an eviction proceeding, despite the rent being paid on time. Unfortunately, the family lives in an unregulated apartment building, so they have little legal recourse.
“About 50% of renters in New York City have no protection against eviction,” Legal Aid Society Attorney Judith Goldiner explained. “So at the end of their lease, the landlord can evict them for any reason or no reason or can raise the rent by as much as he wants.”
Legal Aid Society is calling on New York Gov. Kathy Hochul to pass the Good Cause Eviction Bill with the April 1 state budget deadline. The legislation would make it illegal for landlords to evict tenants from unregulated apartments unless they violate the lease.
Critics of the legislation worry the new rules would be too much of a burden, especially for small landlords. When recently asked if she supports the bill Hochul did not answer directly. Her office pointed out that Hochul is working on expanding the state’s Tenant Protection Unit.