De Blasio appoints new chair, landlord rep to Rent Guidelines Board

A former judge and BRP's design director both join
March 29, 2016 05:30PM

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new chair and owner representative Tuesday for the city’s Rent Guidelines Board.

De Blasio tapped Kathleen Roberts for chair. Roberts, a former United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York, is currently a mediator and arbitrator with JAMS. She specializes in complex commercial cases, including commercial real estate disputes.

Meanwhile, Mary Serafy, the director of design for affordable housing developer BRP Development, will be one of two members who represent owners’ interests on the board.

Serafy is responsible for leading BRP’s development activities including planning, zoning analysis, design, coordination, construction administration and LEED Certification, according to the press release. One of BRP’s largest undertaking is a 737,000-square-foot project called the Crossing at Jamaica Station in Queens.

“I’m confident that their addition to the Rent Guidelines Board will serve New Yorkers well – tenants and landlords alike – in establishing rent adjustments that are fair and grounded in real-life conditions in our neighborhoods,” de Blasio said in a statement.

The nine-member Rent Guidelines Board establishes rent adjustments for the around one million stabilized apartments in the city. The mayor appoints all members: five represent the general public, two represent the landlords’ interests and two represent tenants’ interests.

Last June, the board voted for the first time in its history to freeze rents on the one-year leases for rent-stabilized apartments. — Dusica Sue Malesevic