On the heels of state rent laws being extended with raised thresholds, the city's Rent Guidelines Board met yesterday to pass some new legislation of their own. They decided to hike increases for rent stabilized apartments by 3.75% for one-year leases and 7.25% for two-year leases. These votes take place every year but the hike this year was bigger than ever. About 1.1 million tenants are going to be affected and many were yelling down landlords for minutes at a time. The board was being heckled with shouts of "shame" and "liar" throughout the course of the night, but things ended with a 5-4 vote on the aforementioned hikes. A small win for the tenants was a dismissal of a 1% surcharge for buildings heated by oil.
A lot of tenant advocates reduced the whole vote to a scripted formality, like Mario Mazzini, the president of the Metropolitan Council of Housing who says "They throw out an absurd number [in the preliminary determination] so that they can back away from it and say, 'Look, we compromised.'...What we want isn't even on the table. What we really want is a different Rent Guidelines Board or the abolition of an unjust system."
· Rent Board in City Raises Limits on Increases [NYT]
· City Board Approves Rent Increases for Stabilized Apartments [NYP]
· Lease Renewal Rates Increase After Heated Rent Guidelines Board Meeting [NY1]
· City Officials Approve Nearly 4% Hike for Rent Stabilized Apartments [NYDN]
· Rent Wars Coverage [Curbed]