Johnson vetoes 'good cause' eviction law so changes can be made
Sam Raudins reports for Columbia-Greene Media that on Oct. 7 Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson vetoed the "good cause" eviction law recently passed 8-0 by the Common Council. Johnson said he wants to sign it, but wants changes first. “I was asked by the Legal Committee and also our city attorneys to veto this current law and it will be going back to the council to be worked on further,” Johnson said. “It seemed that the consensus was that it was not yet ready.” Typically such laws need Legal Committee approval to move before the Common Council. First Ward Alderperson Rebecca Wolff wants to remove language that allows the court to investigate a tenant’s ability to pay increased rent, and that a landlord can use the sale of a building as a reason to evict tenants. The original approved law and a similar effort earlier in the city of Albany were hailed by housing advocates. Rebecca Garrard, legislative director at Citizen Action of New York, who championed the Common Council vote, now says changes are good. “I think the council and the mayor are moving in a way that really reflects their prioritization of passing legislation that will ensure the greatest protections for the residents of Hudson, who are at significant risk of displacement and homelessness,” she said. Landlords in Hudson are now trying to use the veto as an opportunity to weaken the law. Kristal Heinz, a 5th Ward Hudson resident and owner of investment properties in the area, said, “I think this legislation has been rushed, the consequences have not been thought through.” NOTE: Johnson is a volunteer programmer at WGXC. Read more about this story at HudsonValley360.com.