(DNAINFO) Lisha Arino — Hundreds of tenants erupted into cheers Monday night after the Rent Guidelines Board voted for a rent freeze for the first time in NYC history, a decision that will affect roughly 1 million rent-stabilized residents in the city.
The board voted against any increase on one-year leases, and voted for a 2 percent increase on two-year leases. Though this fell short of the rent rollback that many tenant advocates had lobbied for, the vote set a new precedent.
“I am so happy, I’m thrilled!” exclaimed Soledad Franco, a rent-stabilized tenant and member of CASA New Settlement, a nonprofit that works to maintain affordable housing in the Bronx.
The board based its decision on data, members said.
An RGB report found that operating costs for rent-stabilized buildings only went up 0.5 percent this year because of lower fuel costs and projected costs will rise 4.2 percent over the next year.
The board also found that the median income rent for regulated units was $1,200 a month and household income is $40,600 a year with a rent-to-income ratio of 36.4 percent. Economic experts typically recommend that rent comprise no more than 30 percent of a tenant’s income.
Based on that data, the zero percent increase for one-year leases was “appropriate,” said RGB Chairwoman Rachel D. Godsil.