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Ithaca activists and officials call for tenant protections in state budget amid housing crisis

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  • Staff Report 

Local activists and officials in Ithaca have intensified their campaign for tenant protections, pushing for “good cause eviction” legislation to be incorporated into this year’s New York State budget. At a press conference, Ithaca Alderperson Kayla Matos, alongside Assemblymember Anna Kelles, highlighted the urgency of adopting measures to protect renters from unfair evictions and the unchecked rise in rental costs. The proposed legislation aims to restrict landlords from terminating leases without just cause, mirroring tenant protections already in place in several other states and cities.


In Ithaca, where tenants make up 75% of the population, the absence of “good cause” requirements poses a significant threat to housing stability. The issue hit close to home for Matos, who shared her own experience of receiving a nonrenewal notice following a dispute over a serious maintenance issue with her landlord. This personal anecdote underscores the broader vulnerabilities faced by renters in the city and across the state.

Despite the statewide push for more affordable housing, Assemblymember Kelles criticized Governor Kathy Hochul’s budget for focusing too heavily on long-term developer incentives rather than immediate solutions like good cause eviction legislation. Advocates argue that such protections are crucial for addressing the immediate housing crisis and ensuring stability for renters. The ongoing debate reflects the wider struggle to balance tenant rights with landlord interests in New York’s heated housing market.