The board of nine mayoral appointees determines rent levels for more than one million rent-stabilized apartments and has indicated it’s weighing increases of between 2% and 4% for one-year leases; and between 4% and 6% for two-year leases — the most sizable hikes in nearly a decade. The vote Tuesday will affect leases signed after October 1st.
Under former Mayor Bill de Blasio, the board kept rent raises at historic lows, upping them mostly by 1.5% percent for one-year leases and 2.75% for two-year leases during his eight-year tenure. During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic the board held rents flat. The proposed increases of up to 6% released last month point to a new, more landlord-friendly era under Mayor Eric Adams.
Renters have implored the board to hold rents steady or even roll them back during a series of public hearings and rallies leading up to the Tuesday night vote. But property owners have been pushing for even steeper increases, arguing it’s harder than ever to maintain their aging buildings, with the surging prices of fuel, insurance and other costs.
On the open market, rents for the city’s 1,023,000 unregulated apartments have rebounded from a pandemic slump, surging 28 percent in the last year, up to a median asking rent of $3,200, according to StreetEasy. The so-called “good cause” eviction bill — which would have given market rate tenants similar rights to rent-stabilized ones, and protected against the kind of steep increases currently affecting many tenants — failed to pass through the state Legislature this year.
The Rent Guidelines Board vote takes place Tuesday night at the Great Hall at Cooper Union starting at 7:30 p.m.