New rent board members seen as tenant-friendly

Appointees expected to push for more modest rate hikes

TRD New York /
Mar.March 27, 2014 01:23 PM

Mayor Bill de Blasio named four new appointees to the city’s nine-member Rent Guidelines Board this morning, bringing new blood to the body tasked with determining the rate of increases for tenants of rent-stabilized units.

Sarah Williams Willard will serve as a representative for owners of rent-stabilized properties, while Cecelia Joza and Steven Flax will serve as public members of the board, the New York Observer reported. Sheila Garcia will serve as a tenant representative, as will Harvey Epstein, the only member of the group to be re-appointed to the position.

The new members are expected to slow the pace of rent hikes that existed under the Bloomberg administration, according to the Observer. Joza and Garcia both currently work with affordable housing nonprofits, while Flax is vice president of community reinvestment at M&T Bank.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who promised on the campaign trail to pursue a rent freeze, is responsible for appointing members to the panel — five of which he can pick before the vote on rent rates occurs, likely in June. Last year the board allowed increases of up to 4 percent for one-year lease renewals and up to 7.75 percent for two-year lease – the largest hike since 2008.

A spokesperson for the mayor told the Observer that the administration sought “balanced candidates who understand the needs of low- and moderate-income tenants,” and plans “to undertake an ambitious agenda that confronts the affordability crisis facing the city’s tenants.” [NYO]Julie Strickland

Related Articles

Blackstone CEO Steven Schwartzman and Stuyvesant Town (Credit: Getty Images)

After authorities vowed review of Stuy Town deal, Blackstone changes course on vacancies

Real Capital Analytics data showed that New York’s multifamily market had a very slow July. (Credit: iStock)

New NYC rent law “beginning to shut down investment”

Some landlords say they plan to close the door to vacant apartments and wait for the laws to change (Credit: iStock)

Creative ways NYC landlords are getting around the new rent rules

Jay Martin, James Whelan and Joe Strasburg

Rent-pocalypse 2.0: Real estate industry reacts to tenant demands

Cases to challenge tenant residency have declined since June (Credit: iStock)

More rent-law fallout: Landlords back off “absentee” tenants

10 Hanover Square (Credit: Google Maps)

FiDi landlord violated rent stabilization regs for years: lawsuit

Here’s why landlords don’t hate California’s rent control bill

When Bill de Blasio announced the end of his campaign, the industry reacted largely with relief but not surprise (Credit: Getty Images and Pixabay)

De Blasio’s campaign is dead, and real estate is happy