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Rent Guidelines Board casts preliminary vote to increase rent in stabilized apartments

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In the first of the two scheduled votes, the Rent Guidelines Committee (RGB) pre-passed a stable apartment, loft and hotel rent increase proposal on Thursday night by a narrow margin of 5-4. Did.

In a preliminary vote on May 5, the one-year rent for lofts and apartments was raised by 2-4%, the two-year rent was raised by 4-6%, and the special guidelines were 27% above the maximum basic rent.

Some supporters were dissatisfied with the results of the vote. Tenant rights officials said the increase puts the most vulnerable people at risk and is a potential eviction target.

“We want to make sure that the emotions in this room are heard on the board,” said Sheila Garcia, a tenant supporter and RGB member. “People suggest that they can probably live with some of the board members who are proposing these increases when they are kicked out, because 2% of them are at least in this room. It will have a devastating impact on most people. “

However, supporters of the Real Estate Owners Commission argued that the increase was not sufficient and their burden of providing safe and quality homes to tenants was tremendously high. They say it’s unrealistic to cover the cost without raising rent significantly.

“Yesterday, the Federal Reserve has dramatically raised interest rates, suggesting that they will continue to raise interest rates to combat inflation,” said real estate owner and board member Christina Smith. “”[This] This means that building owners will pay more for mortgages when refinancing, and less money to keep their property and tenants’ homes safe. In addition, the city council has a law that dramatically raises the minimum temperature of buildings. If this is passed, heating costs for stable buildings will increase significantly. “

Outside the board, other advocates are vulnerable to opposition to the preliminary vote and are already struggling to achieve their goals, even a slight increase, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated inflation. He said it could cripple tenants.

“We rent the most vulnerable neighbors, people in low-income colored communities, especially when New Yorkers are still financially upset from the pandemic and the local unemployment rate is still one of the highest. I blame the board for voting to raise it. Country. ” Adrian Holder, a lawyer in charge of civil proceedings at the Legal Aid Association, said. “Tonight’s vote ignores that blatant reality. However, the board can vote for the freeze in June. Members are encouraged to listen to the screams from tenants. Clients are crazy about Hobson choosing groceries, medical needs and other necessities and paying rent. “

City financial auditor Brad Lander also blamed the vote.

“The NYC Rent Guidelines Committee is tasked with balancing the realistic assessment of the cost increases faced by building owners with the ability of tenants to pay rents. The group is still considering an increase that far outweighs the benefits of increased costs, “Lander said in a statement released after the vote Thursday. “According to a unique methodology for assessing the cost increases faced by building owners, rent increases need to be higher than 2.7% for one-year leases and 4.3% for two-year transactions. No. All penny beyond that is plagued by landlords’ demands to withdraw more from tenants whose financial burden is increasing from inflation and unemployment, which remain double the national average. ”

The Next meeting RGB will discuss the 2022 Housing Supply Report, make a second final vote on the proposal to raise rents, and take place on May 26, 2022 at 9:45 am EST.

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