Will Cuomo Help de Blasio on Housing?

Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio at the Wilborn Temple First Church Of God In Christ in Albany on Sunday, February 16, 2014. (Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)

Gov. Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio at the Wilborn Temple First Church of God in Christ in Albany on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. (Photo by Rob Bennett for the Office of Mayor Bill de Blasio)

Republican control of the New York State Senate isn’t good news for Bill de Blasio’s housing policies. But the morning after the election, it isn’t clear that things look that much worse than they did before the election, Jarrett Murphy writes in City Limits.

The biggest thing on the legislature’s plate next year is the renewal of rent regulations on nearly 1 million apartments in the city. They’ll also deal with the 421a tax break and other key elements of housing policy in the city. All of it will bear significantly on the mayor’s ambition to build or preserve 200,000 units of housing, and the housing plan in turn is critical to de Blasio’s overall effort to reduce inequality.

The fact is, however, strengthening the regulations on rent-stabilized apartments—which is what de Blasio and his allies want and need to do—was always going to be a very tough lift, even if the State Senate had stayed the way it was or if Democrats had even increased their edge slightly.

The biggest change, says Murphy, is that the Independent Democratic Caucus has “lost its lock on the balance of power.”

But since the IDC was at best a wild card on the rent regulations question…de Blasio’s chances for good housing policy coming out of Albany were always even at best. They were going to depend on Democratic unity, help from the IDC and the participation of the governor. They still do, maybe with Cuomo’s role looming a little larger.

Check out Murphy’s assessment of the lineup in the state senate and what it means for de Blasio at City Limits.

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