Rent Guidelines Board makes decision on New York City rent hike

EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- People living in more than one million rent stabilized apartments in New York City will have their rent increased this fall.

The Rent Guidelines Board made the final decision at a meeting Tuesday night. The changes will go into effect on Oct. 1.

Last month, the nine-member board approved a rage of increases.

This is what the board ultimately decided:

-For a one-year lease, tenants can expect a 1.5 percent hike.

-For a two-year lease, tenants can expect a 2.5 percent jump.
Residents argued for the minimal amount so they can pay their bills. Landlords pressed for greater increases to cover their increasing operating costs.

Some tenants fear they are one step away from homelessness. For others, it's a hard choice between rent, food or medicine.

"So every time there's a lease increase, it's the fear that that's the increase that's gonna take us up to the top -- that's gonna be the increase that kicks us out of our apartment," Khadijah Canns said.

Tenants are not the only ones upset. The 25,000 landlords who own the apartments are also furious. They were not as vocal at the hearing, but they are on the same see saw as the tenants.

Property owners argue the increases do not keep up with the costs of maintaining their buildings.

"Outrageous considering that the board's own data called for no less than 3 percent in a one-year guideline, that's half of that, based on increase costs for owners, the property taxes of 7.1 percent, water and sewer rates on the rise, and all other costs increasing, this will not help owners invest back into their buildings," said Vito Signorile with the Landlords' Association.

Attorney and former member of the board Adriene Holder released the following statement:

"We are disappointed that the Board chose to heed the fear-mongering of landlords and place their profits over preserving affordable and stable housing for tenants across New York City. It is the most vulnerable, low-income families that are already struggling to get by in one of the most expensive cities in the world who will bear the brunt of this rent increase. Their right to remain in their communities and keep a roof over their families should have been prioritized.

While the stark economic divide between the rich and the poor continues to rapidly grow and over 61,000 people experience homelessness every night in the City, it is mindboggling that the Board voted to raise rents on the neediest residents for a third consecutive year.

We hope that the Board listens to the voices of the 2.5 million rent stabilized New Yorkers and reverse their vote."

The rule is you can make no more than $200,000 to live in a rent regulated apartment.

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