Plaintiffs in Federal Lawsuit Challenging New York’s Rent Stabilization Law File Reply Brief Rebutting Opposition’s Arguments; Remain Confident Supreme Court Will Review Case

By Community Housing Improvement Program, About the Rent Stabilization Association of N.Y.C. | August 9, 2023

New York, NY – The Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), the Rent Stabilization Association of NYC (RSA), and individual property owners, who are currently petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of New York’s Rent Stabilization Law (RSL), today filed their reply brief in support of Supreme Court review. In it, the plaintiffs systematically rebut the arguments made in recent briefs filed by the defendants––New York City, State and City officials, and various tenant groups.

The organizations issued a joint statement below:

“As we explain in detail in the reply brief filed today, the defendants’ arguments opposing Supreme Court review are entirely without merit. With thousands of property owners unfairly impacted by the RSL, the urgent need for the Court’s intervention is indisputable. Let’s also be clear: if the Supreme Court takes this case, and agrees with us, the reality is that the sky will not fall. The only result will be what we have always advocated: a more rational system that works fairly for tenants and property owners alike.”

CHIP and RSA’s arguments for Supreme Court review are supported by amicus briefs from a multitude of preeminent housing stakeholders, including:

(The case is Community Housing Improvement Program, et al. v. City of New York, et al., No. 22-1095, and all of the Supreme Court filings are available here.) This outpouring of support confirms the urgent need for the Supreme Court’s intervention to clarify the limits imposed by the Constitution’s Takings Clause in the context of rental housing regulation and, in particular, to make clear the unconstitutionality of numerous aspects of New York’s Rent Stabilization Law.

CHIP and RSA first filed their lawsuit in 2019, challenging the constitutionality of New York’s overly burdensome regulatory scheme. Following the dismissal of the case by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the plaintiffs filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in late 2020, which upheld the dismissal in a February 2023 decision. The plaintiffs maintain the RSL has had a detrimental effect on owners and tenants alike and has been stifling New York City’s housing market for more than half a century.

The plaintiffs are neither seeking damages nor monetary compensation for the Defendants’ violation of their constitutional rights. Instead, they seek declaratory and injunctive relief to protect the constitutional rights of property owners—which would force the State and City governments to focus on real policy solutions to address housing unaffordability, such as increasing the housing supply and providing housing assistance to those who actually need it. The outcome of this case will have significant implications for rent regulation nationwide.

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About the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP)

Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) is an association of about 4,000 responsible owners and managers of over 400,000 rent-stabilized rental properties across all five boroughs in New York City. CHIP empowers property owners to provide quality, affordable housing and to build thriving communities.

CHIP members are long-term property holders who are deeply invested in the communities in which they live and work and employ tens of thousands of New Yorkers directly and indirectly through their small businesses. CHIP envisions a New York where building owners are free to provide housing they are proud of to residents who are proud to live there.

About the Rent Stabilization Association of N.Y.C. (RSA)

The RSA (Rent Stabilization Association of N.Y.C., Inc.) is the largest trade association in New York City exclusively dedicated to protecting and serving the interests of the residential housing industry. The RSA represents 25,000 property owners and agents responsible for approximately one million units of housing. RSA’s members range from owners of one or two, small family buildings to professional managers of large multi-family complexes. Our broad representation has allowed us to develop a powerful base for our lobbying programs and the resources to provide a wide assortment of products and services to our members.