Federal Court Shuts Down Attempt To End NYC’s Rent Stabilization Laws
A challenge to New York City’s 54-year-old rent stabilization laws was shut down by a federal appeals court, Gothamist reports. The two lawsuits were filed by two of the city’s largest landlord lobby groups, the Rent Stabilization Association and the Community Housing Improvement Program. Both organizations have vociferously lobbied against rent reforms over the years. The lawsuits allege that rent stabilization violates the constitution’s “takings clause,” which is typically interpreted as relating to the government’s use of eminent domain, not rent regulations.
The court determined that governments have broad authority to regulate land use in the public interest. The landlord groups are hoping to appeal the lawsuit to the Supreme Court next, betting that its conservative majority sides with them. But the Supreme Court only accepts between 100-150 of 7,000 cases a year, so the future of the lawsuits is unclear.
Colorado Weighs Building Affordable Housing On Public Land
Colorado’s The Journal reports that the state is debating a proposal to lease out or sell state-owned land at a discount for affordable housing. The bill would secure $13 million to start leasing out the state’s 55 unused parcels of land to nonprofit partners. It has support from Democrats and some Republicans and was voted out of committee, The Journal says.
Another bill would create a new unit within the state government to build public-private partnerships for the purposes of developing housing. The push to use public land for affordable housing construction comes as Colorado’s median home price rose by 40% since 2020, according to The Journal.
But the federal government owns a large chunk of Colorado’s land. The Journal reports that 8.3 million acres of Colorado’s land is owned by the federal Bureau of Land Management. That land has long been subject to speculation from oil and gas companies, something a 2021 bill proposed by Sen. John Hickenlooper sought to curb. The Western Governors’ Association voted on a resolution last year to allow states to trade land for federal land, saying that the “checkerboard” pattern of land ownership made land difficult to develop.
NYC To Open Sixth Emergency Migrant Shelter
Mayor Eric Adams Announced that the city will open a sixth migrant shelter, Gothamist reports. The new shelter – the latest to address an influx of migrants into the city, and which the city referred to as a “Humanitarian Emergency Response and Relief Center” – will be a 492 room Holiday Inn located in the financial district intended for single adult women. The city says it has taken in 44,000 migrants in the past 10 months.
The Adams administration was forced into a public confrontation with migrants who refused to move from a hotel to a congregate shelter facility at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal in Red Hook last week. Migrants housed at a midtown hotel complained that the Brooklyn facility was cold and unsafe. To counter criticism, Mayor Adams invited the press to watch him sleep overnight at the Brooklyn facility. The city eventually sent police and sanitation workers to clear out migrants who were camping out in front of the hotel after they were denied re-entry.
This article is part of Backyard, a newsletter exploring scalable solutions to make housing fairer, more affordable and more environmentally sustainable. Subscribe to our weekly Backyard newsletter.
Roshan Abraham is Next City's housing correspondent and a former Equitable Cities fellow. He is based in Queens. Follow him on Twitter at @roshantone.
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