Rent hike passes for NYC's 1M stabilized apartments after final board vote

Thursday, June 22, 2023
NYC Rent Guidelines Board approves hikes for rent-stabilized tenants
Derick Waller reports on the approved rent hikes.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The New York City Rent Guidelines Board on Wednesday passed an increase for about one million rent-stabilized units.

Tenants and advocates drowned out members of the Rent Guidelines Board at Hunter College as they voted to pass a 3% increase for one-year leases and a staggered increase for two-year leases which would see a 2.75% increase for the first year and a 3.2% increase for the second year.

The final vote was 5 to 4, with three public members and two tenant members voting for the adjustment.

It was an outcome that left both sides unhappy Wednesday night. Rent-stabilized tenants wanted a rent rollback.

"Choosing between food and rent, or healthcare and rent, things for their children and rent and housing," tenant David Mirtz said. "It has a real impact on people's lives. And the mayor needs to own this. This is his rent guidelines board."

"For me and my tenants within the building, the life changes could actually mean displacement," said Tabitha Julien of Equality for Flatbush. "Being evicted because we cannot afford the rent."

Landlords meanwhile, say that even the highest end of the proposal was still not enough.

"The overwhelming majority of building owners, especially stabilized building owners in New York City are more modest smaller, with between six and 20 units. Thousands more that have up to 50 units," said Michael Tobman of the Rent Stabilization Association.

Landlords cite property taxes, skyrocketing energy costs, and spiking insurance premiums as the main drivers of increased costs they are dealing with.

In a statement, Mayor Eric Adams thanked the guidelines board for their work.

"I want to thank the members of the Rent Guidelines Board for their critically important and extremely difficult work protecting tenants from unsustainable rent increases, while also ensuring small property owners have the necessary resources to maintain their buildings and preserve high-quality, affordable homes for New Yorkers. Finding the right balance is never easy, but I believe the board has done so this year - as evidenced by affirmative votes from both tenant and public representatives.

"We also know that the real solution to the affordable housing crisis requires building more housing - that means getting New York City the tools we need to build the housing New Yorkers deserve. That is why we continue to fight for state action on affordable housing incentives, office conversions, and other key priorities. And we are using every tool in the city's toolkit to build more housing more quickly - cutting red tape, making the largest financial commitment to affordable housing in the city's history, and advancing a 'City of Yes' zoning amendment that will clear the way for new housing in every borough."

The rent adjustments will apply to leases starting on October 1, 2023.

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