The Rent Guidelines Board on Tuesday voted for a hike on the city's 1 million rent-stabilized apartments. NY1's Lori Chung filed the following report.
In a 7 to 2 vote, the Rent Guidelines Board approved the first hike for rent-stabilized apartments in two years, disappointing tenants who had hoped for a break.
"Outrage. I'm really outraged," said one tenant.
"Even with the lowest possible increase, they still took the side of real estate and not on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of tenants that are suffering," said another.
Come October 1, rents on one-year lease renewals will go up by 1.25 percent. Two-year leases will see a 2 percent increase.
It was not the rollback or rent freeze that advocates had been pushing for.
"It's really hard because the salaries aren't enough to support our families, everything we have to invest," said one tenant.
The audience was mostly tenants, but the few landlords here said the board is ignoring their rising operating costs.
"I see a lot of noise for nothing because if they rise 1, 2 percent, that's nothing for landlord," said landlord Joe Rey. "Real estate not so easy because very tough law in the city."
Groups like the Rent Stabilization Association, which represents landlords, wanted a 4 to 8 percent increase.
"This process is a charade. The fix was in from the beginning," said Jack Freund of the Rent Stabilization Association. "Total ignorance of any economic realities here. Total ignoring the increase in real estate taxes and other operating costs."
A rally for renters' rights before the vote drew the tenant members of the board, who said the hike is a compromise.
"We thought we had to opportunity to make our case why we thought that we deserved a rollback, and the data supports us," said Harvey Epstein, a tenant member of the Rent Guidelines Board. "But it's not just about data sometimes. It's about politics."
The ruling affects approximately 1.6 million New Yorkers in rent-stabilized apartments. It takes effect October 1.