Though New Yorkers who have rent-stabilized apartments have gotten some reprieve from rising rents for the past two years, a third consecutive rent freeze may not be in the cards. The Rent Guidelines Board held its preliminary vote last night to determine whether rents will rise in 2018, and despite calls from tenants’ rights organizations to enact a historic third freeze on rent prices, the board voted in favor of increases, according to the New York Daily News.
The RGB voted in favor of a proposal put forth by its public members: one-year leases could see an increase of anywhere from one to three percent, while two-year leases could be subject to an increase of two to four percent. Proposals put forth by the tenant and landlord members of the board—which called for a rent rollback, and higher increases, respectively—were both rejected.
Unlike previous years, when the low cost of fuel led to low operating costs for landlord of rent-stabilized apartments, this year saw a six percent increase in the price index of operating costs, according to the RGB.
As expected, the statements from both ends of the spectrum—anti- and pro-increase—began rolling in soon after the vote was decided.
From Adriene Holder of the Legal Aid Society:
Board members must have a foggy memory of landlords cashing in with big increases for twelve consecutive years under the previous Administration. Given that necessary context, the freezes of the previous two years have only begun to provide some breathing room for rent-strapped tenants. We hope the Board comes to its senses over the next several weeks after hearing from low-income New Yorkers in every borough on how any increase could put them seconds away from homelessness.”
The Rent Stabilization Association, which is decidedly pro-landlord, tweeted a reaction immediately following the preliminary vote:
The RGB has ignored true operating cost increases of 6.2% for owners and these poor ranges are an indication of that— RSA (@TheRSAnyc) April 26, 2017
This isn’t the final word on the matter, though: the RGB will host a series of public meetings (at which the public can speak against or in favor or the increases) over the next few months before the full board’s final vote at the end of June. At the time, the extent of the increase, which would go into effect in October and cover leases signed through next fall, will be determined.