Friday, March 9, 2018

Rent freeze fight underway for 2018

[Image yesterday via]

Members of the Rent Justice Coalition along with several elected officials held a rally downtown yesterday outside the Rent Guidelines Board’s first meeting of the year.

The Coaltion was out to demand that the RGB freeze rents for tenants in rent-stabilized apartments. In addition, the group wants to ensure that tenants have a voice at the RGB's upcoming hearings across the city.

Last June, the RGB voted to allow rent increases on the city’s 1 million rent-stabilized apartments, with one-year leases subject to 1.25 percent raises, and two-year leases subject to 2 percent hikes — this after two consecutive years of rent freezes.

Per a release from the Coalition:

While the coalition counts past rent freezes as successes, data show landlords have been overcompensated for decades with high rent increases, including an 8.5 percent increase at the height of the recession in 2009. In fact, rent stabilized tenants are rent burdened, with half of them paying about a third of their income for rent. At the same time, many low-income families pay as much as 60-70 percent of their income in rent.

While tenants face rising cost, landlords are making more money and paying less for expenses. Property resale prices are up; rent revenue is up; and foreclosures are low. The Rent Justice Coalition is demanding another from the Rent Guidelines Board to allow rent-stabilized tenants to keep their homes.

Here are quotes from local-elected officials:

Council Member Margaret S. Chin: "While our city has made progress in the movement for affordability, we need to keep the protections currently in place that provide relief to millions of rent-stabilized tenants across New York City. At the Rent Guidelines Board public meeting, tenants and rent justice advocates will make their voices heard on the importance of not only a rent freeze, but a rent rollback, and I urge the Board to make sure their feedback is taken into account at every step of the process."

Council Member and Progressive Caucus Member Carlina Rivera: "After a difficult rent increase in 2017, we must fight to make this the year of the rent freeze for our rent-stabilized residents.I continue to hear from people across my district that any increase could put them seconds away from losing their homes. Many of the rent-regulated tenants in my district have lived here for decades. To see them forced out by unnecessary rent increases would destroy the heart of our neighborhood identity."

The next RGB meeting is April 5. Their preliminary vote is April 26 at Cooper Union. Find the full upcoming schedule here.

1 comment:

Brian said...

Same old bs every year. Of course the politicians support freezing the rent (no matter if landlord costs have gone up or down), they want the votes to get elected again. Tenants far outweigh the number of landlord votes. Two months of public yelling at hearings where the same thing is said every year. Fact is, it all depends who is on the board. It does not matter what you say at the hearings.