Just last week, Mayor de Blasio said the city had in his first year of office financed 17,300 units of affordable housing toward his goal of preserving or building over the next decade some 200,000. But the plan will still be taking shape over the next few months in term sheets with developers, at construction sites and—if Housing Committee Chairman Jumaane Williams has his way—in the City Council hearing room. Williams, a Brooklyn Democrat with a background in tenant advocacy, spoke to City Limits for a City & State TV interview on January 14, the same day he released a statement imploring Albany to “meet this crisis with absolute urgency before our City’s rent regulations expire this spring.”
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The worry isn’t just that rent regulations could expire, Williams said. It’s that if the regulatory system isn’t strengthened, more apartments will be destabilized through vacancy decontrol—which knocks apartments off the rolls once the monthly rent surpasses $2,500—and other leaks. “The mayor’s housing plan is supremely important, so we’re going to do a lot in the housing committee when it comes to that,” Williams said.