Rent Guidelines Board Approves Pointless Yet Deeply Infuriating One-Percent Increase
In a move that angered everyone and pleased precisely nobody, the city's Rent Guidelines Board voted last night in a meeting at Cooper Union to increase the rent on rent-stabilized apartments by one percent. That's after Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a rent freeze , saying at an unrelated press conference that the city is locked in an "unfair pattern."
Screenshot via. He really does have a point.
"We've had a pattern in recent years of tenants being charged substantial increases," he said at the presser yesterday, "while the actual costs to landlords did not increase anywhere near the same amount."
The mayor's words were apparently for naught. As the Times points out, two of the six people de Blasio appointed to the board actually voted in favor of the increase.
New York Communities for Change, a non-profit that advocates for low- and middle-income families, circulated a petition for months before the vote took place, calling on the board to freeze the rents, as did many other advocacy groups, including Make the Road New York and the Metropolitan Housing Council. As the vote took place, tenants' rights groups and affordable housing organizations packed Cooper Union's Great Hall, shouting, waving signs, and generally making their displeasure known:
After the vote, the board beat a hasty retreat as irate tenants stormed the stage:
The mayor's office has tried to position the one-percent increase as some sort of victory, with spokesperson Wiley Norvell telling the Times he's heartened that the increase is a "historic low." A $2,000 apartment, for example, will see an increase of $20.