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Still no tenant deal but landlords, tenant groups, politicians say don't panic

Amid criticism, Cuomo, Flanagan, Heastie talk to restore expired tenant protections.

There was little, if any, progress in the state capital toward a deal to restore long-standing protections for New York City tenants, but there was consensus Wednesday on one thing: Don't panic!

The consoling advice came from every corner, including the newest iteration of Albany's three men in a room: Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Democratic State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Senate Republican Majority leader John Flanagan.

"We're getting nowhere fast," said Assemblyman Keith Wright (D-Harlem).

Cuomo has the power to and says he will keep extending the current legislative session, which was to close Wednesday. For Democrats and Republicans, this means their summer vacation and plans with their families feel the crush.


Heastie says Dems are "prepared to be here to do what has to be done for the conference, however long that may take.”

And Flanaghan, who represents parts of Suffolk County, declared: "I am prepared to be here with my colleagues until we get the people's business done."

Mayor Bill de Blasio has called politicians'failure, "Albany at its worst." He's gone as far as to say the city has no "partner" in the capital with Cuomo.

De Blasio andtenant groupshave accused Cuomo of holding the rent bill hostage by tying it to passage of a school choice tax credit for families who send their kids to private or religious schools.

The tenants want the end of vacancy decontrol, which allows landlords to jack up stabilized units' rents when a tenant leaves and other changes.

The impasses means tenant protections will continue to erode, the Metropolitan Council on Housing says: "Merely renewing the rent and eviction protection laws in their current weakened form guarantees that they will erode to insignificance over the next few years. If that happens, the finger of blame will point directly at the governor of New York state," says the MTC's Michael McKee.

At the very least, all involved expect the expired laws to be back in place.

The city's big landlord group even echoes theassurances.

"There is no need to create mass hysteria ahout this," said spokesman Vito Signorile.

John A. Oswald is editor-at-large of Metro.US. His Twitter is @nyc_oz.

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