By Dan Rivoli
Lawmakers and tenants groups urged Gov. David Paterson to sign the illegal hotel bill the Legislature passed.
With a Saturday deadline looming for him to veto or sign the bill into law, Paterson’s spokesperson said he is reviewing the legislation.
The bill’s authors, State Sen. Liz Krueger of the East Side and Assembly Member Richard Gottfried held a rally with tenants at City Hall July 21. Nearly every West Side elected official expressed support of the legislation.
Krueger said the bill was one of the rare instances where the city, the unions, trade associations and lawmakers support the same law.
“I believe if [Paterson] reviews the research done by his own counsel and policy staff, reviews the report that was produced and memos of support by pretty much everyone who’s been involved in this issue at all, he will understand how critical it is that he signs this bill,” Krueger said.
Borough President Scott Stringer said the loophole in the law hurts New Yorkers and tourists that stay in these hostels.
“I call on Governor Paterson to quickly sign this bill to ensure that our City’s residential buildings are kept safe from these illegal uses,” Stringer said.
There has been push back from hostel operators that feel they are being targeted for making money off their buildings fairly and providing low-cost accommodations for tourists.
Gottfried, however, noted the law would give the city power to shut down the most egregious illegal hotels that rack up complaints.
“The Buildings Department concentrates on people who are really bad actors,” Gottfried said. “No one ever heard of the city going after someone for occasionally renting out their apartment to an out-of-town visitor. It’s never happened.”