The Real Deal New York

Did de Blasio just distance himself from a rent freeze?

Mayor says rent board should make decision "based on the actual facts"
June 18, 2014 11:08AM

In a speech yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed an upcoming vote on annual rent increases, but made no mention of the rent freeze he has championed since he ran for office last year.

The city’s Rent Guidelines Board is scheduled to hold the vote on the plan June 23. The proposal could lead to a complete freeze on price hikes on rent-controlled apartments. The Mayor said yesterday that the members should “look at a lot of information and decide what makes sense first and foremost based on the actual facts, the actual numbers” when casting their votes. But he failed to mention — let alone endorse — a rent freeze.

The mayor did urge the board to take into account the city’s poorest residents and the affordability crisis, Capital New York reported. He also characterized last year’s hike, the largest since 2008, as “quite high.”

This is not the first time an administration member has made comments that seem to cast doubt on a rent freeze. Last month, de Blasio’s deputy mayor for housing and economic development, Alicia Glen, said, “I don’t think that anybody’s view is that putting a rent freeze is good for the rental stock, any portion of the rental stock,” as Capital New York reported at the time. [Capital NY]Tom DiChristopher