“It was good when we had the rent freeze.”

Gladys Puglla, Bushwick, New York City, NY

“It was good when we had one year for the rent freeze. Landlords are raising the rent, but not doing any repairs,” says Gladys Puglla, who has lived in Bushwick for 20 years. “The rent is going up, food goes up, clothing goes up, and salaries don’t go up. Rent regulation makes me be able to pay rent in this area, because the gentrification has hit us very hard.” 

Loopholes in New York City’s rent stabilization law allow landlords to raise rents above the usual limits in between tenancies, and decontrol units completely once rents surpass a certain threshold. For this reason, several units in Puglla’s building are no longer rent-stabilized. Their monthly rent is $5,000. 

“Many people are coming over here… and have a big budget to afford the rent… They only come for 3-6 months and then leave,” says Puglla. “To the people who are moving into our area, come fight with us, help us to keep our rent low. We want to keep and stay in our homes.”

The Upstate Downstate Housing Alliance is a diverse coalition of over 70 grassroots organizations fighting to strengthen tenants' rights and end homelessness in New York State. We unite renters, homeless New Yorkers, and manufactured housing residents from Brooklyn to Buffalo in the fight for housing justice. From the densest parts of New York City to the most rural parts of Western New York, we are united in our belief that housing is a human right and that all people should live free from the fear of eviction. We were founded in September 2017 in Albany, New York. In 2019 we won a historic victory strengthening rent stabilization and expanding its coverage state-wide. In 2020, we will continue to fight for taxing the rich to house the poor, preserving safe and affordable housing, and investing in new social housing. For more information, visit https://www.housingjusticeforall.org/.