New Yorkers living in the city’s one million rent-stabilized apartments can expect rent hikes between 1.25 and two percent for leases inked between this October and September 2018.
The Rent Guidelines Board approved the increases of 1.25 percent on one-year leases and two percent on two-year agreements Tuesday night after ratifying rent freezes an unprecedented two years in a row.
Advocates on both sides of the issue railed at the decision, with tenants arguing another freeze or a rollback is more appropriate and landlords saying the increases aren’t enough to cover mounting maintenance expenses.
Tenants who packed a Baruch College auditorium for the board hearing Tuesday night delayed its 7 p.m. start for more than an hour, chanting “How low can you go?” and dancing the limbo in front of the stage.
“The mayor talks about affordable housing, but he does nothing,” said Kathy Wakeham, a retired social worker who lives in a one-bedroom rent-stabilized unit in the East Village. “He could’ve listened to tenants and he could’ve encouraged a rent rollback.”
The board, which is made up of nine members appointed by Mayor de Blasio, approved the hikes during a hearing at Baruch College by a 7-2 vote.
In the last two years, de Blasio has taken flack from landlord advocates who contend the board basically acts as his rubber stamp.
Last year, they sued to overturn the last rent freeze, but a judge upheld it in March, ruling that it’s okay for the board to take into account overall affordability for tenants.
“These rent increases are a recognition that rents must increase to pay for rising real estate taxes and operating costs,” said Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents 25,000 landlords. “But although a step in the right direction, these increases are totally inadequate.”
Strasburg said he hopes de Blasio is starting to realize “rent increases are necessary to preserving the city’s…