NEW YORK - New York City's Rent Guidelines Board voted Thursday to propose rent hikes for nearly 1 million rent-stabilized apartments and homes throughout the city.
The board voted 5-4 in a virtual meeting to increase rent on one-year leases for apartments and lofts by 2%-4%, while two-year leases would see a 4%-6% increase.
The vote is preliminary, a final vote will be held in June. If passed, it will be the highest rent hike in the city in over two decades.
The board had considered a larger rent hike of 4.5% on a one-year lease and as much as 9% on a two-year lease.
The vote was met by immediate criticism from both housing advocates and landlords.
Landlords argue they need more money to offset the costs of maintaining apartment buildings.
"Housing has costs. The RGB spends a lot of time and energy calculating those costs. Yet, again, the Board has ultimately dismissed the data and proposed a range that does not cover the increasing costs that their own reports predict," said Jay Martin, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program. "If the RGB doesn’t approve rent increases that keep up with costs they are choosing to defund buildings. They are choosing to reduce the quality of housing. They are choosing to make housing less safe for renters."
However, renters fear the proposed increase may mean more evictions.
"We condemn the Board for voting to increase rents on some of our most vulnerable neighbors, people from low-income communities of color, especially when New Yorkers are still reeling financially from the pandemic and the local unemployment rate remains one of the highest in the country. Tonight’s vote ignores that blatant reality," said Adriene Holder of the Legal Aid Society in a statement. "Ensuring that tenants remain safely in their homes must remain a top priority in the days, weeks and months ahead, and we again call for a wholesale freeze on all rents under the Board’s purview."