1st Rent Guideline Board meeting held after proposed 15.75% increase for rent-stabilized apartment

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Thursday, April 27, 2023
1st Rent Guideline Board meeting held after proposed 15.75% increase
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The Rent Guidelines Board held it's first public meeting for tenants and landlords after proposing a 15.75% increase for rent-stabilized apartments.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Tenants and landlords showed up to the Rent Guidelines Board meeting to voice their concerns about the proposed 15.75% increase for rent-stabilized apartments.

The Rent Guidelines Board, appointed by Mayor Eric Adams, heard the voices of some of the roughly 1 million rent-stabilized tenants and their property owners during a hearing on Thursday.

Rent-stabilized tenant Benay Chisholm is a retired transit worker and said she would like to be planning a vacation.

"Trying to enjoy what life is left without worrying about so many problems but it's kind of difficult," Chisholm said.

Chisholm is one of many retired rent-stabilized tenants fighting to keep their rents affordable according to Lareano.

"I have cases because the landlord went, knock on the door, you're going to get evicted," Nurys Laureano of Housing Court said. "You know what happened? They end up with a stroke in the hospital. The apartment empty - ready to be rented to someone else."

The board voted for the highest rent increase in a decade just last year.

And this year, it's considering a potentially unprecedented hike of more than 8% on 1-year leases and nearly 16% on 2-year leases. Michael Tobman represents 25,000 landlords dealing with rising energy bills, repair costs and property taxes.

"The owners of stabilized buildings are private owners providing a public benefit and the numbers have just stopped making sense," Michael Tobman of the Rent Stabilization Association said.

But Leah Goodridge, a former member of the Rent Guidelines Board who testified, said an increase of this magnitude makes even less sense to struggling tenants already in the middle of a housing crisis. The average rent for a New York City studio Apartment is $3,400 dollars.

"It's really striking to hear because it's sort of going backwards and we're trying to move forward," Goodridge said.

Next Tuesday the board will vote on a rent increase range they will consider for rent-stabilized apartments.

The final vote will not be held until June, meanwhile, the mayor's office insists the final numbers will be nowhere near what's been floated so far.

ALSO READ | Report finds 50% of working-age New Yorkers don't earn enough to meet basic needs

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