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In 2020, the Court of Appeals noted, in a landmark ruling, that “[n]o party doing business in a regulated environment like the New York City rental market can expect the RSL to remain static.” Matter of Regina Metro. Co., LLC v. N.Y. State Div. of Hous. & Cmty. Renewal, 35 N.Y.3d 332 (2020).

Yet, as part of a seemingly never-ending saga, on February 6, 2023, the City of New York prevailed in a federal appeal which had been filed by the Community Housing Improvement Program’s (CHIP), to invalidate the New York City Rent Stabilization Law (RSL), and the Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019 (HSTPA), based on their alleged unconstitutionality.

The RSL -- and, subsequently, HSTPA -- were enacted to safeguard tenants from a variety of evils which had been triggered by a deregulated housing market, and were specifically designed to address the City's affordable housing crisis. However, CHIP’s argument was predicated on the Fifth Amendment’s “Takings Clause,” and Fourteenth Amendment’s “Due Process Clause,” and that these local laws constituted a physical and regulatory taking of private property. Yet, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals roundly rejected CHIP’s contentions, noting that, “It is well settled that limitations on the termination of a tenancy do not effect a taking so long as there is a possible route to an eviction.”

Representing the City of New York, the Legal Aid Society and its partners publicly noted that, “Today’s ruling rightfully follows both United States Supreme Court and Circuit Court precedents, upholding these laws that have served millions of New Yorkers, preserving affordable housing and preventing displacement and homelessness.”

Over the decades, the courts have repeatedly recognized the necessity of having a regulated housing market in New York City. While landlords attempt to strip tenants of their right to affordable housing, the court system continues to uphold these protections -- and justifiably so.

Ultimately, the CHIPs were stacked here….

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Second Circuit CHIP decision

Legal Aid Press Release