NEW YORK - A Thursday night preliminary vote on potential rent increases for the city's roughly one million rent-stabilized units resulted in a decision to freeze rent for one year leases. The board added that rents could potentially be raised 1% on two year leases.
The ruling passed 5-4 in favor of the updated guidelines.
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The final vote typically takes place in June, but with the coronavirus pandemic, a decision has yet to be made as to exactly when it will take place.
The preliminary comes as some ected officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, urge the Rent Guidelines Board to issue a rent freeze amid the pandemic.
The Rent Stabilization Association requested increases between 2.5 and 4.5 percent on one-year leases and between 3.5 and 5.5 percent on two-year leases.
Building owner advocates have argued that landlords will face additional costs due to coronavirus, and a rent freeze will have serious unintended economic consequences.
The only protection currently in place for tenants is an eviction moratorium issued by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that has been extended from June to August 20.
De Blasio says the situation for many New Yorkers has reached a tipping point.
"My message to the Rent Guidelines Board is clear: Issue your reports, do your research, that's great. Hold your hearings as quickly as possible, take your vote and give the tenants who are rent stabilized in the city, over two million New Yorkers, give them a rent freeze. They need it. It's clear, the facts are clear. Let's get this done," De Blasio said.
Any increases would take effect in October.