Streams

Rent Guidelines Board Considers a First: A Zero Increase

Monday, June 16, 2014

WNYC
Affordable Housing Advocates Rally at City Hall

For the first time, the board that that decides how much of a rent increase owners of rent-stabilized buildings can charge is considering a 0 to 3 percent increase for one-year leases.

Last year, the Rent Guidelines Board allowed a 4 percent increase for one year leases; the year before that it was 2 percent. The Board held its second of four hearings Monday.

"As we lose affordable housing across the city, so many residents are being priced out of communities that they helped to build. I urge you all to support a rent freeze," said City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who represents parts of lower Manhattan.

The possible zero increase comes after Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed five new members to the Rent Guidelines Board this year; one of the mayor's hallmark issues during his first term has been income inequality and the creation of more affordable housing in the city.

But landlords say a zero increase will actually end up reducing the amount of affordable housing.

"Final rent guidelines within the preliminary range will result in deteriorating living conditions for tenants, financial instability for rent -stabilized properties....and the loss of affordable apartments," said Jack Freund, vice president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords who own rent-regulated apartments.

The Board will hold two more public hearings on the proposed increases this week, then take a final vote on the increases next week.

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Comments [3]

happy420 from astoria

I am a teacher making a very good living wage on paper. By the time I pay rent (1750 for a 1.5 bedroom apt. in Astoria. I am living hand to mouth each month. I plan to move far away from NYC....even if the mayor and the UFT agreed to blackmail teachers not to leave.

Jun. 19 2014 05:31 PM
NYC tenant from NYC

First, why is it only the landlord's voice that is featured with his opinion? There should definitely have been a tenants' representative as well.

We have had years of unjustified rent increases. Even when the market tanked in 2008, we were still hit with punitive rent increases.

Did Bloomberg's RGB cronies think that we were getting pay raises in line with those rent increases? Ha! As part of the working class of NYC, we were lucky to even have jobs. This rent freeze is more than justified to reverse the unfair increases set forth by Bloomberg's real estate cronies.

Jun. 19 2014 03:12 PM
Richard Johnston from Manhattan upper west side

If you feel like me that the rent increases in the Bloomberg years exceeded the real increase in owners' operating costs it is only fair and correct to balance those unwarranted increases with freezes.

Jun. 17 2014 01:09 PM

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