Wednesday, June 21, 2023 11:25PM
NEW YORK (WABC) — The New York City Rent Guidelines Board is set to vote Wednesday night on an increase for about one million rent stabilized units.
It will be the board’s final vote on the issue. In a preliminary vote in May, the board passed a 2-5% increase on one-year leases and 4-7% hikes for two-year leases. That means the average renter would pay between $63 and $163 more a month.
Property owners cite high inflation and ballooning costs. But tenant advocates note it is the second time increase in as many years of the Adams administration.
“For me and my tenants within the building, the life changes could actually mean displacement,” said Tabitha Julien of Equality for Flatbush. “Being evicted because we cannot afford the rent.”
They made their unhappiness known during a raucous preliminary vote last month, when a number of politicians and tenant activists loudly took to the stage with chants, banners and demands for a rent rollback.
In response, the board issued a ban on “items that are reasonably likely to disrupt the proceedings, such as noisemakers and drums,” at Wednesday’s final vote.
The board also changed the site of the vote, shifting from the Great Hall at Cooper Union in the East Village to a larger space at the Assembly Hall at Hunter College on the Upper East Side, where tenants demonstrated outside ahead of Wednesday’s vote.
Board Chairman Nestor Davidson expressed “strong concerns” following the meeting, saying in a letter to the mayor that the protest, “went beyond the bounds of public participation and created a chaotic environment that raised serious concerns for me about public safety.”
The Rent Stabilization Association, which represents landlords, called it “intimidation and fear tactics” and declined to participate in person at recent public hearings.
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