As New York City gears up for the mayoral election, three democratic candidates have spoken out in favor of a rent freeze at the city’s rent-stabilized apartments, the New York Times reported.
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and City Comptroller John Liu all endorsed a rent freeze at the Rent Guidelines Board public hearing yesterday, the Times said.
“It is time we finally consider the tenants,” Quinn said, expressing concern that tenants have not weathered the recession as well as landlords.
The board has proposed an increase ranging from 3.25 percent to 6.25 percent for a one-year lease and 5 percent to 9.5 percent for a two-year lease. Last year, the board approved an increase of 2 percent for a one-year lease and 4 percent for a two-year lease. An additional supplement, characterized by tenant advocates as the “poor tax,” slaps on another rent increase for tenants who live in a rent-stabilized apartment and pay less than $1,000 a month.
De Blasio said that the board’s decision to hold only one public hearing in Manhattan while neglecting to hold a second one in the outer boroughs was an “outright failure of democracy.” [NYT] – Hiten Samtani