Rent stabilized tenants are bracing themselves for tonight's Rent Guidelines Board meeting where the board will most likely vote for a hike. Expect things to get incredibly noisy tonight! Actually, we imagine the basement of Cooper Union might implode from the feelings of self-pity, anger, and entitlement from both sides. The rent increases owners are asking for is 8%, because of higher gas prices and real estate taxes. And not only that, owners may also ask that rates remain only for one year leases - no more two year leases the tenants can lock into. Newsday says that 9,200 apartments left rent stabilization last year, the biggest number ever. The commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development Shaun Donovan added that though rent stabilization is one important part of affordable housing, "it's not as effectively targeted or as affordable as other units that we're doing in the mayor's plan and a lot of units that we're trying to preserve because it's not targeted to the people who need it the most, and the rents aren't set in any way that aligns to the income levels of the people who are living there." Which can be a valid argument, because there are some people who live in rent-stabilized apartments but don't really need them. At the same time, the rental market overall is crazy, and who can blame people for get their best deal?

Remember the hubbub over keycards at Peter Cooper Village? Well, they have them now. And tonight's public meeting is at Cooper Union's Great Hall, on 7 East 7th Street. The agenda is to discuss rent stabilized apartments and lofts first, and rent stabilized hotels later on.