Despite protests last week by affordable-housing supporters before the Rent Guidelines Board and NYC City Council Members Jumaane Williams and Carlos Menchaca, rents for New York City’s approximately one million rent-stabilized apartments will increase by 1.25% for one-year leases and 2% for two-year leases starting in October 2017.
The NYC Rent Guidelines Board, made up of nine members appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio (two members represent tenant interests, two members represent owner interests, and five members represent the general public), voted yesterday, Tuesday, June 27, at an auditorium at Baruch College in Manhattan. Tenants booed the decision, according to the New York Daily News, as opponents hoped for another rent freeze or even a rent rollback or reduction, the article states.
Landlords were unhappy with the decision as well. Jack Freund, a representative for building-owners told WNYC that the low increase is not enough for landlords to cover operating costs and added, “These tenants are now going to be living in deteriorating housing.”
The rent increase passed with a 7-2 vote—the two representatives for building-owners voted against it.
The protesters at last week’s meeting were led by Rent Justice Coalition, a pro-tenant/pro–affordable housing group. The group met at Borough Hall Plaza last Monday, June 19, before marching to St. Francis Founders’ College Hall (182 Remsen Street), where a Rent Guidelines Board meeting was being held, Brooklyn Paper reports. The group rallied against the proposed one to three percent hikes for one-year leases and two to four percent hikes for two-year leases, which the Board preliminarily voted for in April.
There was a freeze on rent increases in the past two years, however last year, the board did approve a two-percent increase for two-year leases, according to WNYC.