Last night, the Rent Guidelines Board voted to raise rents for rent-stabilized apartments: 3% for one-year leases and 6% for two-year leases. NY1 reports, "For tenants who have lived in their building for six or more years, the increase will be either $30 or $60, whichever is more."
While the rent hikes were relatively modest, many lawmakers and tenants begged for a rent freeze, given the economic climate. The rent hikes were only approved 5-4—according to the NY Post (which also had a graphic of previous hikes, pictured), "The surprise of the evening, though, was not that scores of screaming tenants drowned out most of the proceedings or that landlord and tenant representatives were constantly at odds, but that a rift had developed among the five public members who frequently act as a united coalition," when one member managed attempted to pass 2.5% and 4.5% increases, but fell short of getting a fifth vote. And while the meeting was noisy, once it was clear there would be no rent freeze, tenants taped their mouths as promised.
One landlord, whose tenant left without paying $9,000 in rent, told the Daily News, "I'm so deep into the process that another $5 or $10 isn't going to make it, but [the vote] does help a lot of these landlords who do have these $200 rents, $300 rents." The News also spoke to a tenant, an unemployed social worker who has lived in her Manhattan walk-up since 1971 and pays $735/month rent; she said of the rent hikes, "It's not unexpected - it's what they do every year. It's a farce."