As residents seek cheap housing, landlords confront mounting maintenance expenses, and the city experiences record homelessness, New York City voted Wednesday to hike rents for about 1 million rent-stabilized apartments.
The Rent Guidelines Board approved a 3% increase for annual leases by a vote of 5-4. There will be a 2.75 percent rise for the first year of a two-year lease, followed by a 3.2 percent increase for the second year. The new rate takes effect on October 1st.
Last year, the city also voted to raise rents. Real estate firm Douglas Elliman reports that in the month of May, the median rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Manhattan was $5,400, an increase of nearly 8% year over year. Most rent-stabilized renters pay a lot less than the average rent in their area.
The board is appointed by Mayor Eric Adams (D), whose successful 2021 election campaign received financial support from many landlords.
The tweet below verifies the news:
New York City voted Wednesday to increase rents for roughly 1 million rent-stabilized apartments, as residents struggle to find affordable homes, landlords grapple with rising maintenance costs and the city faces record homelessness. https://t.co/WABs7To58B
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 22, 2023
Adams later said in a statement that the board had done “critically important and extremely difficult work protecting tenants from unsustainable rent increases, while also ensuring small property owners have the necessary resources to maintain their buildings and preserve high-quality, affordable homes.”
The rate of inflation has contributed to an increase in the number of people sleeping outside. According to the board’s analysis of New York’s housing market in 2021, about 2.3 million apartments and houses are occupied by renters.
Before the vote, tenants and housing activists gathered to voice their objections, holding up signs reading things like “Rent is too damn high” and “0 percent.” Half of all households in the city were found to be housing cost burdened, with housing expenses eating up more than 30 percent of their income.
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At a rally, New York City Council member Chi Ossé (D), who represents a district in Brooklyn, declared, “This city is a 70 percent-plus tenant city.” Every New Yorker living in a rent-stabilized apartment faces a “life-or-death sentence” as a result of the rent hike, he claimed.
Some property owners claimed that rent stabilization buildings would face financial ruin if rents were raised little or not at all. “The math requires adequate rent adjustments to keep the city’s affordable-housing stock from plunging into an insolvency crisis,” two members of the Rent Stabilization Association, a group representing landlords, wrote in an editorial article for the New York Post on Tuesday.
For decades, New York has struggled to meet the needs of its citizens for affordable housing. Prices in the New York metropolitan area climbed by 6.1% in 2016, the highest annual rate in about 40 years. The cost of living has increased dramatically as the average pay has fallen behind inflation.
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