Tenants living in nearly one million rent-regulated apartments in New York City will know on Tuesday night how much their rents will rise in the coming months — a decision that is sure to be of greater than normal importance, given the skyrocketing inflation of both tenants and landlords. has to face now.
The final decision will be taken by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board on Tuesday night and will limit how far landlords can go if they demand more cash from tenants.
In a preliminary vote last month, the board set the rent increase limit for one-year leases between 2% and 4%. For two-year leases, it approved a range of between 4% and 6%.
Landlords expect the board to approve rent hikes at the higher end of that range so they have more cash to pay rising expenses, while tenants fear any rent hike will make them even tighter.
“Tenants are being screwed over,” said Michael Mackie, a longtime tenant advocate and treasurer of Tenants PAC. “The question is whether they’re going to go to the low end of the range or the high end.”
According to McKee, neither option will bode well for the tenants, many of whom have had to struggle during the COVID pandemic. McKee pointed out that even for tenants who took advantage of the state’s COVID-era Emergency Rental Assistance Program, or ERAP, many are still behind on rent because the program only extends 15 months to those tenants. Covers those who were left behind on rent.
Mackie also predicted that if the increase took place within the range, which he sees as potential, nearly three-quarters of all tenants living in rent-regulated apartments would be unable to afford their rent.
Landlords, not surprisingly, have a different view of the situation.
They argue that rising inflation has significantly increased the cost of essential resources such as gas and electricity, making it difficult for them to sustain.
Vito Signoril, a spokesman for the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents landlords in the city, pointed to the biggest increase in gas and electricity costs in 17 years, higher property taxes and a 4.7% increase in water surcharges, Which is proof that landlords need more cash. To keep your buildings running.
“I don’t know where they think the money is coming from to pay for these operating expenses,” Signorile told the Greeley Tribune on Monday. “Builders are getting killed here.”
Mackie argued that the same is true for tenants, who are also feeling the pinch of inflation with rising costs of groceries and other necessities.
“Who is better equipped to survive inflation – the people who live in rented stable apartments, or the people who own them?” They said.
All nine members of the city’s Rent Guidelines Board are appointed by the mayor. Some of them are appointments of Mayor Adams, while others are holdovers from the time of his predecessor, Mayor Bill de Blasio.
On Monday, Adams raised questions about the potential for a fare hike on 1010 wins. When asked about tenants who fear the 4% hike, they said they were glad the board had backed an even higher hike before setting their limits. One of them was a 9% fare increase.
“Earlier, we were hearing numbers above 9%. We raised our voices, and advocated for saying, ‘This is unacceptable,'” Adams said. “We are hoping that the Rent Guidelines Board, the independent board, will make the right decision for New Yorkers who are struggling. “
Adams, who is a landlord himself, said he expects the board to act “fairly” to both landlords and tenants.
Over the past several months, he has insisted that not increasing rents, or raising them at a much lower rate, would adversely affect small “mom-and-pop” landlords.
McKee described Adams’ statement on Monday as “disconcerting,” noting that the mayor is “claiming to protect tenants from a 9 percent increase, when in reality a 4 or 6 percent increase is to 75 percent of rents.” would be disastrous for stable tenants.”
Council President Adrienne Adams urged the board on Monday to raise the “lowest end of the range”.
“If it means we are leaving behind our most vulnerable people then we can’t move forward,” she said in written testimony submitted to the board ahead of Tuesday’s hearing. “It is imperative that New Yorkers have the assurance and security that they can continue to stay in their homes.”