Tenants Optimistic that Rent Freeze Possible

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If the cost of rent in rent stabilized buildings doesn't go up this year, it would be the first time since the program started in 1969. But that's what housing advocates called for as they stomped their feet and waved flyers that read "zero percent" at the first Rent Guidelines Board meeting of the new Mayoral administration.

But Jack Freund, who represents 25,000 property owners and managers, says landlords can't preserve their affordable housing without increasing rent. "I don't think you can have it both ways," he said. "I think the mayor is in a box on this one."

The board regulates rents for approximately one million rent-stabilized apartments in the city. De Blasio announced five new members Thursday, but still hasn't appointed a chair. The board meets again April 10.