For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Following Thursday’s report by the New York City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) showing that landlord operating costs in the city’s approximately 1,000,000 rent-stabilized apartments increased by just 0.5% in the past year, Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried (D/WFP-Manhattan) called on the RGB to freeze or lower rents for rent-stabilized tenants renewing leases between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016.
In his April 17 statement, Assembly Member Gottfried said:
“Too many New Yorkers are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet, particularly when it comes to the increasingly high cost of housing. With landlords realizing huge cost savings in the past year, as Thursday’s Rent Guidelines Board report confirms, it’s time for the Board to pass those savings on to tenants.
“The Rent Guidelines Board must end its business-as-usual practice of granting automatic rent hikes to real estate interests every year. The RGB’s own study shows that freezing or lowering rents for a million rent-stabilized households is an appropriate and responsible step that will help keep city living affordable for millions of New Yorkers without subjecting property owners to any financial burden.
“Last year, the RGB ignored calls for a rent freeze, and it turns out the increases they allowed gave landlords a windfall higher than their costs, which the RGB now shows have stayed virtually flat. It’s overdue to give families some relief.”
The New York City Rent Guidelines Board is a nine-member panel that establishes rent adjustments every year for the approximately one million apartments in the city that are subject to the Rent Stabilization Law. The RGB’s members are appointed by the New York City Mayor. The RGB holds an annual series of public meetings and hearings before determining adjustments for one-year and two-year leases on rent-stabilized dwelling units.
In 2014, the RGB gave landlords a 1% increase for one-year leases and a 2.75% hike for two year leases.
Each year, RGB staff conducts research on economic conditions in the city’s housing market, including the costs of operating and maintaining apartments, obtaining financing, supply of housing stock, and cost-of-living indices. As part of this effort, the RGB issued Thursday’s report, 2015 Price Index of Operating Costs, which showed annual operating costs’ for owners of rent-stabilized units increased by approximately 0.5% – the lowest such increase since 2002 – with costs for landlords in many areas actually declining.
MESSAGE FROM Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried
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