rent guidelines board

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The Rent Guidelines Board hosted several hearings leading up to the June 21st vote, which could raise rents for more than 1 million rent-stabilized apartments. Before the final one on Wednesday, tenants rallied outside in protest, calling for a rent rollback instead.

Rent-stabilized tenants are seeing some of the biggest potential hikes in almost a decade

The board, which governs rent increases for 2.4 million stabilized tenants, has been mulling some of the biggest rent hikes in nearly a decade.

In an unusual move, the nine-member voted to freeze rents on stabilized apartments for the first six months of one-year leases while allowing landlords to increase rent by 1.5% for the next six months.

The panel kept the possibility of a modest increase on the table, while rejecting the landlord group's proposal for a steeper hike.

"I don't think we anticipated that landlords would blatantly violate the law as quickly as they seem to have done," said Ellen Davidson, an attorney at the Legal Aid Society.

The board’s responsibility is to protect renters, said Sheila Garcia, an RGB member tasked with representing the interests of tenants: “Our mandate is not to make sure that profits continue to increase.”

The vote was 5-4 in favor of the rent increases, disappointing tenants.