Rent-Stabilized Apartments Face Largest Rent Increase In Years
06/20/2008 08:21 AM
The Rent Guidelines Board voted Thursday night for one of the biggest rent increases in years for rent-stabilized apartments at a meeting in the East Village Cooper Union.
Tenants will pay an increase of 4.5 percent for one-year leases and 8.5 percent for two-year leases on rent-stabilized apartments.
Landlords of tenants who have lived in their apartment for six years or more have the option of a minimum increase of $45 for one-year leases and $85 for two-year leases.
Many tenants loudly protested at Thursday’s meeting for two hours, blowing on whistles that they snuck into the meeting, practically drowning out the proceedings.
The New York Times reported Friday that the increase wasn't part of the public discussion and in fact was only detailed to RGB members Thursday morning. One board member called that a "procedural outrage."
"We did strike a balance and the vote was 5-4," said Rent Guidelines Board President Marvin Marcus. "And I think it was the right decision, given this year's economics and the need for a rent increase and balance against tenants' affordablity."
Landlords say they need to raise rents to keep up with escalating fuel and water costs.
"Everybody recognizes that oil is so out of control. Whether it's at gas pumps or heating during winter time, we needed to do something different," said Joseph Strasburg of the Rent Stabilization Association. "And I do hope that oil prices somehow stabilize so that we don't find ourselves in the same situation next year."
Tenants say they cannot afford to pay any more, and that building owners are still making a healthy profit.
"We got robbed. Today is a sad day, we got robbed," said a tenant.
"These eggs was cooked a long time ago, today was just a formality," said another.
The rent increases apply to leases renewed after October 1.
Is it fair to have higher rent increases for apartments with the lowest rents?
Copyright © 2008 NY1 News