New York, NY – June 24, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — In the first Rent Guidelines Board vote of the de Blasio administration, the New York City Rent Guidelines Board voted 1% for 1-year leases and 2.75% for 2-year leases for New York City’s rent-stabilized tenants. After a historic opportunity to correct the course of unjustifiably high rent increases under Mayor Bloomberg’s administration, the Board voted for rent hikes for low and moderate income tenants. Over the past few weeks, hundreds of low and moderate income tenants, elected officials, legal service providers, and tenant advocates testified during four public hearings in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens calling for a rent freeze for 1 and 2 year leases. Tenants testified about the increasing unaffordability of their apartment and neighborhood, predatory equity speculation in regulated housing, and the Board’s obligation to consider their own data of increasing Net Operating Income for owners and high rent burdens for tenants.
Before the final vote, tenants delivered a petition with over 3,000 signatures to the Rent Guidelines Board public members calling for a rent freeze as a course correction and encouraging them to follow the data produced by the Board. A rent freeze would have made a significant difference for many low and moderate income tenants who are experiencing the effects of the city’s affordability crisis.
“This is a huge disappointment. The RGB had an opportunity to begin a course correction to make up for past high increases that have contributed to the affordability crisis, and didn’t. A third of rent-stabilized tenants are paying over 50% of their income towards rent and this decision will likely increase that amount. The struggle isn’t over. Tenants deserve a rent freeze and we will continue to organize for one for the low and moderate income tenants in New York City,” said Katie Goldstein, Executive Director of Tenants & Neighbors.
“Landlords have been profiting quite handsomely despite the economic conditions which have been devastating to most of the City’s residents, in particular the low income and working poor populations,” said Fitzroy Christian, a leader of CASA.
“I am crestfallen. After all the Mayor has said about the rent freeze and the tale of two cities, nothing has changed. More and more families will lose their homes because of this. And this is a signal to landlords to use their money to shut up poor people. But as my Bob Marley would say “Get up stand up stand up for you rights. Get up stand up, don’t give up the fight” You are not seeing the last of us… tenants are on the war path; we are coming and we are coming in full force,” said Jean Folkes, tenant leader with the Flatbush Tenant Coalition
“The RGB has missed an important opportunity to freeze rents, keeping our neighbors in their homes and preserving communities across the city. A rent freeze would have been appropriate this year given the many years of increases that exceeded the rate at which other costs rose. This outcome only strengthens our resolve as we prepare for the even bigger fight next year to renew and strengthen the state laws that regulate rent and protect tenants.” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh.
Delsenia Glover, Tenants & Neighbors