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Annual Rent War Theater Lacks Drama This Year

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In 2005, at the Rent Guidelines Board's annual public hearings to decide on rent increases for stabilized apartments, tenants shouted "you're parasites!" and one old lady took her top off. In 2006, tenants opted for a marching band approach, favoring whistles and pans over public nudity. In both cases, and indeed in every case, the RGB raises rents?less than what landlord groups want, and more than the usual rent freeze that tenant groups call for (the Post graphic above shows the annual increases). Yesterday was the first of three hearings to decide the 2008-2009 increases, and given the range that the RGB suggested, it's a certainty that the increases will be bigger than last years'. But that's not the headline. Stunningly, the crowd wasn't disruptive this year. The Times reports that half the Great Hall at Cooper Union was empty, and the Post comments that it was "strangely subdued meeting" following a "well-worn script." We heard that security was a tighter this year, but are we to believe that not one aged breast was bared in the name of freedom? Good thing there are still two more chances, on June 11 and 16.
· Board’s Proposal for Rent Increases Disappoints Landlords and Tenants Alike [NYT]
· Apt. Rents Could Skyrocket 9.5% [NYP]
· Fresh Meat Thrown to Dogs in Annual Rent War [Curbed]