Renters, lawmakers rally for 9 pro-tenant bills to pass

LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Apartment renters and lawmakers rallied on the Lower East Side Friday morning, demanding that a package of nine bills pass in Albany.

The nine bills are pro-tenant, and one law regulates almost a billion rent-stabilized apartments in the city. That law expires June 15th.

Anthony Donovan recalled a neighbor whose rent double and was forced to move out. The bills would protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords.

"Well, I'm rent-stabilized, thank God, and we'll just do what we can every day. I'll try to embrace my neighbors, try to support what I can, live. I'm five generations New York City. I don't know if I'll have to leave. I hope not," Donovan said.

In Albany, Governor Andrew Cuomo has questioned whether Democrats have the votes to pass the nine bills.

"I don't believe the Senate has the votes to pass it...otherwise they would have passed it," said Cuomo.

One bill would eliminate landlord renovation costs from being passed on to tenants. Another would prevent landlords from jacking up rents.

Landlords are running TV ads, claiming they are being squeezed out of business.

"Tenants don't own these buildings. Landlords do. And for them to cry poverty, it goes against the numbers that we know," said Emily Goldstein of the Neighborhood and Housing Association.

Negotiations on the nine bills continue through the weekend. It is now crunch time. The state Senate only have four more times they can vote in Albany before this year's session expires.

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