Yesterday night, a vote between the nine-members of the Rent Guideline Board (RGB) took place regarding another surge of increases on monthly rent to tenants in rent-stabilized apartments.
The vote resulted in a 5-4 split in favor of the increases, divided as 1.5% on one-year leases and 2.5% on two-year agreements. Naturally, this angered the hundreds of tenants affected by the vote, who have had to deal with consistent increases since 2016. At a meeting yesterday in the East Village, tensions were high as angry New Yorkers collectively shamed the RGB. As we delve deeper into the affordability crisis, in a city where rent prices are already through the roof, increases during each passing year is the last thing residents want to deal with. The approved decision will apply to those with renewal leases on/after October 1st, 2019 and on/after September 30, 2020.
On the other side of the debate, landlords also voiced their growing frustrations with the increases not being high enough to sustain their annual operating costs, arguing that it’s becoming impossible for them to maintain their properties considering that property taxes tend to go up around 7% every year.
Overall public opinion seems to side with the tenants (of different ages), who have been presenting their personal testimonies at RGB hearings over the past few months. The common issue brought up has been the relentless difficulty of navigating life in a city with rising costs that don’t reflect average salaries.
featured image: daryan shamkhali via unsplash