Governor Paterson introduced legislation yesterday that would overhaul the state's rent laws in order to "preserve affordable housing stock." The legislation is in response to the Stuy-Town lawsuit Roberts v. Tishman Speyer, in which tenants prevailed but were left uncertain of their legal rent. DHCR Commissioner Brian Lawlor said in a statement, "The legislation Governor Paterson is proposing will protect all rent regulated tenants in New York State for an additional eight years, provide incentives to owners to quickly provide refunds and rent reductions to tenants in apartments that were inappropriately decontrolled and also slow the deregulation of rent stabilized apartments."

The current laws expire next year, and call for apartments to be deregulated when a tenant's income exceeds $175,000 over two years and the rent exceeds $2,000 a month. Those rules were set in 1993, and the new legislation the rent threshold would be $3,000 a month and adjusted annually. The legislation also calls for different regulations on preferential rents, exit notices and individual apartment improvements.

However, the bill has been getting a lot of criticism from lawmakers and landlords, who say it won't make housing more affordable. Rent Stabilization Association president Joseph Strasburg told the Times, “If you can pay $3,000 a month in rent, you’re protecting people making in excess of $100,000 a year. We don’t understand that rationale." State Senator Liz Krueger said that allowing developers receiving J-51 tax breaks to charge market rents is contradictory to what the tax program was set up to accomplish, and said, “I don’t think that’s any kind of solution to the crisis of affordable housing." If the legislation passes, these laws would be put into effect through June 15, 2019.