NYC board approves rent freeze for stabilized apartments

For a second straight year, New York City's Rent Guidelines Board has voted to freeze rents on one-year leases for New Yorkers in rent-stabilized apartments. The board approved a 2-percent increase on two-year leases.

New York City has about a million rent-stabilized apartments. Landlords have been calling for increases, saying that rental income isn't keeping pace with property tax hikes, higher water bills, and cost of maintenance. However, Mayor Bill de Blasio said falling fuel costs have offset landlords' other expenses.

NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito applauded the decision.

"New York City is in the midst of a housing crisis and as we work together with our partners in government to create new affordable housing units, we must also ensure existing rent stabilized homes are protected from unreasonable rent hikes. This rent freeze, along with a two percent increase on two-year leases, will provide relief to over 1.1 million rent stabilized tenants in New York City and will help alleviate the burden of increased rent-,even as wages remain stagnant."

Last year's rent freeze was unprecedented. But some tenants' advocates this year even advocated a rent rollback.

The Rent Stabilization Association, which represents property owners, blasted the board's vote and even suggested the decision was political.

The vote applies to leases renewing between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017.