The Rent Guidelines Board released its price index of operating costs yesterday, and it reveals that costs for rent-stabilized building costs grew almost 8%. Which makes it likely that the RGB will approve another rent hike, as the RGB had expected a 6.7% increase. The main cause of the increase seems to be rising fuel costs, but critics say the operating costs do not take into account owners' incomes - thus it's not a true picture of a building owner's financial situation.

Last year's rent hike was more moderate than what owners wanted, at 2.5% for a 1-year lease and 5.5% for a 2-year, but they might prevail in making bigger changes. The next public hearing about rent increases for rent-stabilized buildings is May 8 at Cooper Union.