NYC rent increases for next two years

June 19, 2008 8:22:31 PM PDT
New York City's Rent Guidelines Board has approved a rent increase for the city's rent-stabililized apartment dwellers.Landlords who don't charge their tenants for heating can hike the rents 4.5 percent on a one-year lease and 8.5 percent on a two-year lease.

Tenants who pay for heat could see increases of 4 percent on one-year leases and 8 percent on two-year leases.

You could try to plug your ears.

But even that wasn't enough to quiet the whistles and the yelling that dominated the rent guidelines hearing.

As one of the 9 board members put it, this was planned chaos. Tenant groups brought plastic whistles into the meeting to drown out the sound of a vote that eventually raised rents.

Despite the noise some heard it loud and clear. The price of rent stabilized apartments going up and they don't like that.

''I think they are going to increase homelessness for people barely hanging on,'' said Richard Steiger.

Why did they do it? The board's chairman says it was about balancing rising costs for the tenants and landlords.

"We did strike a balance and i think it was the right decision," said Marvin Marcus, the Chairman of Rent Guidelines Board.

But it wasn't quite what the owners and landlords wanted. Joseph Strasburg represents a group of owners and they wanted a larger increase.

"The $45 doesn't barely cover the cost of oil," he said.

Tenants counter that the cost of living in the city has risen dramatically too and a rent hike hurts them even more.

For more information on the rent hikes, CLICK HERE.

STORY BY: Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Pegues