One million New Yorkers who live in rent-stabilized housing may be facing rent hikes of an unprecedented scale under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration thus far.
The decision will be made at the annual Rent Guidelines Board meetings, which has experienced first-hand the growing tension and concern as protests at meetings grew in intensity over the past few months, according to the Wall Street Journal. Both loud and silent protests have been a mainstay of the board’s last several meetings and the issue will ultimately be decided in a final vote this Tuesday.
Ahead of the board’s decision, building owners proposed a 3 percent rent increase for one-year leases and 6 percent for two-year leases. Meanwhile, tenants proposed a freeze on year-long leases and a 1 percent increase for two-year leases.
The board’s five public members reportedly signed off on a resolution that would put a range of increases–from 0.75 percent to 2.75 percent–on the table for one-year leases and allow owners to add another 1 percent for two-year leases.
Under the de Blasio administration, rent-stabilized tenants saw their rents rise a total of 2.5 percent over the last four years. Prior to de Blasio, the board historically raised rents by at least 2 percent each year.
The board’s data on building costs found that in last four years owners’ costs went up more than 11 percent and their taxes rose by nearly 25 percent. Over the past year, owner expenses rose 4.5 percent and property taxes jumped 6 percent.
The Journal notes that federal data collected over three of the past four years shows tenant incomes rising faster than rents; tenant organizations contend that those statistics do not take into account the increased cost of living. [WSJ]—Erin Hudson