Saturday, December 27, 2014

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The Call Blog: Rent Guidelines Board Votes Against Rent Freeze

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Tenants weren't happy tonight. Landlords weren't either. Does that mean the RGB got the compromise right? Maybe. But probably not. The system needs an overhaul. There is very little consistency. There is very little regulation. And that's the real problem.

The Rent Guidelines Board voted tonight on increases for nearly a million stabilized apartments in the five boroughs. Mayor de Blasio's appointees make up the majority of the board, and he called today for a rent freeze to serve as a "course correction" after years of "unnecessary" increases.

But board members decided on 1% increases on one-year leases and 2.75% on two-year leases. The RGB's research shows more than a third of stabilized tenants are paying over half their income in rent. But landlords argue they are facing a 5.7% rise in operating costs this year and they cannot afford to adequately maintain buildings. What do you say?

What's your reaction to tonight's vote? Are rising rents and utility bills affecting you? When it comes to the cost of living in New York City, what one thing is affecting your wallet the most?

Send your thoughts using the link above.

I once worked for a landlord who offered one of his managers 20,000 if he could find a way to evict an older women from a building. He owned multiple buildings He just wanted to push this women out.

Building owners hate the artist loft laws. They can't get them out and lose a lot of money because they can't sell the building unless it's delivered empty.

Every building and situation has to be evaluated individually that is why the system they have now serves no one.

Jackson Hts.

Tell the seniors to have a social worker complete a SCRIE application. With that said, living in NY City is not a given right.

Jessica, Kew Gardens

I tuned in too late to comment, but what people who criticize the increases as being too low fail to understand is that in places like Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village the landlord constantly piles on bogus and bs "Major Capital Improvements" which jack up the rent astronomically (and permanently) and are factored in when the lease is renewed.

Stuyvesant Town

Please take note that for the first time ever the increase for a 2 year lease is more than double the increase for a one year lease. landlords know that most tenants will go for the lower one year lease and are hoping to get a larger increases next year. This is a cold and calculated move. And they claim that a rent freeze would have been political! Come on!

Meryl from manhattan

The mayor and the board has let us poor New Yorkers down. Although, the increase is somewhat low is not going to reduce our suffering because we are unemployed and underemployed. Leaving us no choice but to relocate out of state.

From corona

Whatever heart and soul is left from the city of the 70's and 80's lives in rent stabilized and rent control apartments. The rich and powerful are trying to squeeze that last bit of old ny out- what ashame- no respect for the history of the city

Chris from Brooklyn

Very few people live in RS apartments that are $700 as per Alan in the EV asserts. Most of us are paying close to $2000 per month and it is killing those of us who are not wealthy. NYC is being colonized by foreign Oligarchs (Bloomberg's favorite people) and out-of-towners who migrate here and drive up the rents by "gentrifying" the neighborhoods by living like old time tenement dwellers - i.e. multiple people in units meant for two to four people.

East Village

Housing is a basic right and should not growth industry.


With respect to all tenants and NYC resident i think all have conveniently chose to completely ignore one side, and that side are the private landlord who spent millions or dollars to purchase and maintain those buildings they reside in. The tenants forgot them as they want not increase The city forgot them as the raise they RE Tax by 10's of thousand of dollars every year The utility company forgot them as prices go up none stop

It is easy and highly convenient to roast the landlords yet forgetting paying $100,000 on re tax while tenants pay $600-$800 per month those not make sense and is a crime against landlords.

Property manager and owner

I hear a lot of rhetoric tonight, but no numbers. How much has energy gone up in various neighborhoods? How much has water costs increased? How high have property taxes risen? Does the city provide such key data so that New Yorkers can intelligently discuss this important financial issue? What percentage are New Yorkers paying for their housing? New Yorkers need to debate the facts and stop whining. You don’t have Bloomberg to kick around anymore.

Michael in Greenpoint

Discussion of renters vs landlords this evening: Does anyone actually believe deBlasio would vote for, support or encourage anything against his own self interest? Do you forget HE is a landlord?

mid-town east

I disagree with the caller named Alan. The Scrie program is for people 62 and over. You have to have a certain income level to qualify. Drie is for disabled people. First, and foremost, there are many people struggling to pay Manhattan high rents. A Freeze on rents would in no way hurt "Landlords" And certainly give many people a break.

Even 1% is a lot when you are struggling.


Dear John,

I wish that the city could find a way to reduce the expenses for our landlords because it not fare for them to pay higher taxes and pass the bill onto tenants.

Staten Island, New York

The rent in NYC is out control and it does not mirror the middle class. Example as city employee I have received a raise in eight years. Therefore, my salary has not caught up with the cost of living. We needed a rent freeze and the public member must be removed if we can not depend on that person to do the right than who? Brought off!!!!!! Pushing the middle class out of the city and forcing us to be homelessness. Bloomberg wins. I hope the Mayor increases property taxes and levy more fines.


I feel they should have voted for a freeze, but this is simply a good day for the "GREEDY". These landlords in New York are greedy, they will never get enough, and how said is it for the working class. Rents skyrocket and salaries stay dormant.

Upper West Side

I am a working class (City Govt) Native NYer living in the "East Village", (formerly Alphabet City) in my opinion the rents are already ridiculously unaffordable. There are many new developments but who can afford them? I think it's borderline criminal how renters are being robbed by landlords!


Rent, food, and cost of living is horrible. With a two bedroom apartment and the lack of attention in the building it is a shame. My family and I have been struggling and even have tuff months where we didn't have food because we needed to pay the rent. And if you are late they want to kick you out.


The new rent guidelines will increase my rent by approximately $30. We definitely could have used a rent freeze but let's face it A rent freeze would come with a heavy price tag later because the next time they vote we would see similar rent increases done in bloomberg administration ...My best advice lock into a 2 yr lease now while it's low!

Jamaica Estates

Hi John,

I was very disappointed to hear about the rent increase. I’m in my mid-20s and have lived in NYC my whole life with my family, and it’s the only city I feel comfortable living in. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to live independently here to the extremely high rents and with the competitive job market. I think many people my age are in similar positions.

Alison, Midtown East

Why would anyone be surprised? The LANDED GENTRY have again gained another victory in their incremental quest to move those on the economical lower tiers of society deep into the outer boroughs or rid New York City of them all together. There has been a war waged on the poor since the squats on the Lower East Side and tent cities were removed from Tompkins Square Park in the late 1980's and it certainly has not ended yet.

Kew Gardens, NY

Simply put, the rent IS too damn high. The city's rapidly dwindling middle class is unable to afford rents as they are, and each increase is one step closer to making the entire city unaffordable for those who are not either wealthy enough to live outside of stabilization or who lack the means to pay full rent and live in a housing project.

The board should be ashamed that they made a conscious move to reward the landlords of New York City and punish the tenants. Poor, huddled masses, indeed.

-Alex, Washington Heights

Hi John;

Interesting how the city budget goes up 7% and they expect landlords to make do with a 0% increase. Rent stabilization protects tenants from market forces but landlords should still be able to make a return on their investment or the system does not work.

Do you have a demographic breakdown on the 1/3 of stabilized tenants who are paying more than 1/2 their income for rent? I would think that a good number of those are senior citizens on limited incomes who should be helped out by government programs rather than landlords being forced to subsidize them.

Ted from LES


If you are on a fixed income its tough to live in NYC unless you are receiving some type of housing or food subsidy. There are some kobs here but at or below minimum wage. I you are a senior (like myself) it is even harder to make ends meet.

I agree with landlords to a certain extent but raises in stabilized building should be minimal(if any) and it should be based soley on income and nothing else. If landlords are too greedy, then they should move to another state and start all over.

Jamaica, NY

Hi John

I think Mayor Deblasio's appointees will follow his suggestion and vote not to raise the rents, if i was on the bored i would vote NO not to raise the rents. The costs of rent utility bills and food are putting a burden on parents with large families. Thank god the government created help like DRIE, SCRIE and section 8.


Hi John,

The utilities are killing us along with all of the other bills we have to pay. My cable bill just went up again, these politicians just have to get a grip on all of these increases. They need to do something about it. No one can tell us just what all of these little increases are on everything we use and need daily.

We all know that this DeBlasio and the speaker owe a lot to the landlords and the real estate moguls. I'm not sure if he can pull this of. Also all of these landlords are paid handsomely for renovations of apartments and what about the cell towers that we have above us on the roofs. They receive quite a large sum of money for the towers and when a lot of people complained about them it fell on deaf ears. They are frightening being above the apartments on the top floors. We are reaching a point of desperation and frustration.

Thank you John,

I think it is about time that rents increases are frozen to keep pace with salary freezes. Rents, taxes, utilities, food, gasoline, and other necessaries of life has went up except our pay.

Park Hill


This is what happens when government is in control, i. e. they are out of control and pick everyone's pockets. There should be no public/government housing.

Port Richmond, SI


ALSO - There is a crisis of extreme rent burden on older New Yorkers. Upwards of 98,000 older adult tenants pay more than 50% of their income in rent. This is what it means to choose between rent, food, medication and other needs on a low fixed income. Rent freeze now.

Sheepshead Bay

As I've said before, this is a vexing question -- the landlord representatives would normally have a very strong case for some measure of an increase, but for the fact that at various points during Mayor Bloomberg's 12 years in office, they were enriched beyond the meaning or spirit of the law -- I do find it almost funny that the landlord groups are suddenly imploring the public for "fairness" when they were the last ones to even bring up the word during the Bloomberg years, when the deck was stacked in their favor.

Upper West Side
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