By Aundrea Cline-Thomas

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With so many families on the brink of eviction, housing advocates are calling on lawmakers to step in while landlords say the proposals will do more harm than good.

As CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reports, a coalition of housing advocates, tenants and lawmakers are launching a statewide campaign to address New York’s housing crisis.

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This comes as funding for rental assistance is running out and the eviction moratorium is set to expire in January.

“We really feel like the time has come for permanent and transformative protections coming out of the pandemic,” said Sumathy Kumar, with Housing Justice For All.

Protections in the form of legislation, including providing permanent rental assistance for homeless families or those on the brink, prohibiting landlords from removing tenants except for what’s outlined as good cause evictions and not as a means to sharply increase rent, and ending tax breaks for developers building new market rate and affordable units.

“Who is going to step in and develop affordable housing without significant subsidies?” said Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association.

The association is made up of mainly small properties owners, who are also struggling.

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He says legal protections are already in place for tenants and additional legislation targeting landlords will only make matters worse.

“My fear is that many of the small property owners this time next year will not be around,” Strasburg said.

Average rent across the city has returned to nearly pre-pandemic levels.

“I was paying $1,600. He says now the cost is $1,800,” Queens resident Juan Carlos Yuca said.

Yuca is, like so many, now fighting in court to keep a roof over his head while struggling to rebound from the pandemic.

According to StreetEasy, the average rent in the city is about $2,700 and those pandemic deals are much harder to find.

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Advocates are urging lawmakers to take up the issue during the 2022 legislative session.

Aundrea Cline-Thomas