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Lifestyles of the Rent Stabilized

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As the Rent Guidelines Board prepares to vote on the possibility of a rent freeze for stabilized tenants, advocates on both sides are making their voices heard. Landlord reps are saying that, despite a temporary drop in fuel costs, their expenses continue to rise. On the other hand, tenant advocates argue that anything short of a rent decrease will hurt stabilized tenants, citing the astronomically high cost of living in New York City. "The question is what New York will look like in 10 years, who is this New York going to be for?" said board member Harvey Epstein at last week's meeting. "But we need to preserve what's here, and therefore I say we need a rent rollback now." Despite voting for the lowest ever increase last year, the board has never voted to freeze or decrease rents. [NYT; previously]