It’s that time of year again…

The Riverdale Press

May 30, 2012

City proposes latest round of rent hikes
By Adam Wisnieski


It’s that time of year again.

The New York City Rent Guidelines Board has proposed its hike for rent-stabilized apartments, but this one may not be as big as in years’ past.

This year’s proposed increase for one-year renewal leases is between 1.75 and 4 percent and 3.5 to 6.75 percent for two-year leases. Last year, the Rent Guidelines Board set increases at a maximum of 3.75 percent for one-year leases and 7.25 percent for two-year leases.

The Rent Guidelines Board will hold public hearings on the increase in June.

The increase, if passed, will affect leases that expire between Monday, October 1, 2012 and Monday, September 30, 2013.

Riverdalian Mickey Gensler of the Skyview Tenants Association said he represents approximately 200 rent-stabilized renters at Skyview in North Riverdale and many of them, like him, are seniors who live on a fixed income. He opposes the proposed increase.

“When there is a bad winter there is a raise, when there is a mild winter there is a raise. They manage to raise rents almost to the maximum every time,” said Mr. Gensler.

Not everyone agrees with Mr. Gensler.

One small organization, New York City Renters Alliance, wants to reform the city’s housing market and phase out rent-regulated apartments because they argue they’re unfair for new renters. The group, made up of market-rate renters, argues the truly needy, like seniors living on fixed incomes, should benefit from subsidies, but that well-off New Yorkers should not get to pay a fraction of the market rate.

The Bronx public hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 13 at the Repertory Theatre of Hostos Community College, located at 450 Grand Concourse, at 4:30 p.m. Written comments can be sent to RGB at 51 Chambers St., Suite 202, New York, N.Y. 10007 or sent by fax to 212-385-2554 or e-mailed to [email protected] Written testimony must be received by Monday, June 18.

After hearing testimony from the five boroughs, the board will meet on Thursday, June 21 in Manhattan to adopt the final hike.


Source: The Riverdale Press

Owners of multi-family buildings pay the lion’s share of New York City property taxes

Real Estate WeeklyWe’re all miserable as rents and taxes continue to climb

10:56 AM, MAY 2, 2012

By Sarah Trefethen & Sabina Mollot

Owners of multi-family buildings pay the lion’s share of New York City property taxes, according to a recent analysis by New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.

The effective tax rate for larger rental buildings is five times the rate for one- to three-family homes, according to the findings, included in the center’s State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods Report.


“As a result of the strong preference shown to homeowners at the expense of large rental properties, New York City imposes one of the highest tax burdens on apartment buildings of any large city in the country,” Vicki Been, director of the Furman Center, said in a statement. “Conversely, the tax on one- to three-family homes is one of the lowest in the country.”

The survey results were announced as the city’s Rent Guidelines Board unveiled its proposals for annual rent increase for the New York’s one million rent regulated apartments.

In proposing hikes from 1.75 to 6.75 percent, owner representative Steven Schleider said tenants need to “share the burden” of landlords’ rising fuel costs and property taxes.

In the 2011 fiscal year, the city collected nearly $17 billion from property owners, according to the Furman Center study, and 36 percent of that revenue came from taxes on apartment buildings – even though those buildings make up only 24 percent of the citywide market value.

At the same time, one-, two- and three-family homes make up 49 percent of the city’s real estate value but accounted for just 15 percent of the city’s property tax revenue. Continue reading

RGB Prelim Vote Did Not Take into Account Rising Operating Costs of Property Owners

NY 1

Updated 05/01/2012 11:37 PM

Rent Guidelines Board Approves Range For Rent Hikes

By: Natasha Ghoneim a million city rent-regulated apartment dwellers are expected to pay higher rents this fall, after the Rent Guidelines Board approved at a Tuesday vote in Cooper Union a preliminary hike range.

The proposed rent hikes are 1.75 to 4 percent for one-year leases and between 3.5 to 6.75 percent for two-year leases. Any new increases will affect leases signed or renewed starting October 1.

Board members claimed they tried to strike a middle ground on increases for rent stabilized apartments.

Tenants rights groups and Occupy Wall Street demonstrators rallied outside Cooper Union, saying they represented what they call the “rights of the 99 percent.”

They say the board, which has members allied with landlords, tenants, and the public, is just a rubber stamp for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s policies.

However, advocates for property owners said the board did not take into account rising property taxes, water and sewer rates and the increasing price of oil.

Three more public hearing will be held before the board’s final vote on June 21.

Last year, the board hiked rents 3.75 percent on one-year leases and 7.25 percent on two-year leases.

Source: NY1



RGB Approves Low Increase in Rents

NY Times

Board Is Met With Jeers as It Recommends an Increase in Rents


May 1, 2012

A panel voted on Tuesday to recommend raising rents on rent-stabilized apartments in New York City by amounts comparable to those approved last year.

By a vote of 5 to 4 at Cooper Union’s Great Hall, the Rent Guidelines Board approved increases of 1.75 percent to 4 percent on one-year leases, and 3.5 percent to 6.75 percent increases on two-year leases.

The actual increases will be narrowed to a single percentage when the board votes again on June 21, after hearings on June 13 and 18, at which members of the public can testify.

Last year, the nine-member board, which is appointed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, approved increases of up to 3.75 percent on one-year leases and 7.25 percent on two-year leases. About one million apartments in the city are rent stabilized.

As in the past, protesters jeered from their seats during the vote, under the watchful eyes of police officers, who set up metal detectors at the front doors.

The meeting coincided with May Day protests by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Helicopters buzzed, nearby streets were closed, and a band with a tuba and drum played outside.

Some protesters at the board meeting carried a banner reading, “Tenants are the 99 percent,” while others shouted, “Greed” and “Shame on Bloomberg” while the board members spoke.

But the protesters’ ranks were thinner this year because of an Occupy march scheduled for around the same time on Broadway, said Larry Wood, a housing advocate.

Still, he promised, they would turn out in droves in June. “There will be a lot more theater for the next vote,” Mr. Wood said.

Lowest Increases in a Decade

NY Post

‘Low’ rent hikes on horizon

By DAVID SEIFMAN City Hall Bureau Chief

Posted: May 2, 2012

The Rent Guidelines Board set the stage last night for the lowest increases in a decade.

In a swift, 34-minute meeting, the board voted 5-4 to approve preliminary rent hikes of 1.75 to 4 percent for new one-year leases and 3.5 to 6.75 percent for two-year renewals.

The range of increases was about 50 percent below last year’s and signaled that tenants in more than a million rent-stabilized apartments could be on the verge of the lowest increases since 2002, when rents went up by 2 and 4 percent.

Renters who had the misfortune of signing new leases last year were hit with 3.75 and 7.25 percent hikes.
Keeping with the theme of the day, about 200 tenants gathered outside Cooper Union to “occupy” the RGB and protest what they described as a sham vote in the historic building’s basement auditorium.
With the demonstrators otherwise occupied, the board rushed through its agenda without any pretense of a genuine discussion.



Continue reading

Owners Prepare for Occupied RGB Vote logo

Rent Stabilized Tenants Prepare to Protest Hike Vote Tuesday 

Tenant advocates waved homemade signs at the Rent Guidelines Board's public session Monday at the Cooper Union. (DNAinfo/Patrick Hedlund)  Read more:

Tenant advocates waved homemade signs at the Rent Guidelines Board's public session Monday at the Cooper Union. (DNAinfo/Patrick Hedlund)

By Jill Colvin, DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

NEW YORK — It’s time to brace for a rent hike.

The city’s Rent Guidelines Board, which sets rates for the city’s one million rent-stabilized apartments, is set to cast its preliminary vote on increases Tuesday night.

The typically raucous hearings pit tenant groups against landlords as the board decides how much rents can legally climb in the coming year, based on owners’ rising costs and other factors.

This year’s meetings are likely to be particularly rowdy with a large showing by Occupy Wall Street protesters, who are planning to “Occupy the RGB” as part of Tuesday’s May Day demonstrations.

No rent-hike numbers have been formally proposed, but a report released by the board last month floated several possibilities ranging from 1.5 percent to 3.75 percent for one-year leases, and 2 percent to 6 percent for two year leases.

The rent board’s executive director, Andrew McLaughlin, stressed that it’s up to members to decide on final numbers and that numerous factors are taken into consideration, including tenants’ ability to pay.

Continue reading

Rent Guidelines Board Holds Preliminary Vote Tonight

NY1 News LogoRGB Prelim Vote Tonight

Tenants and building owners will once again be squabbling over annual rent hikes for the city’s rent-regulated apartments as the Rent Guidelines Board holds a preliminary vote this evening at Cooper Union.

Last year, the board hiked rents 3.75 percent on one-year leases and 7.25 percent on two-year leases.

Tonight’s meeting is open to the public, but officials say any noisemakers that can be used to disrupt the proceedings are prohibited.

Tenants rights groups and Occupy Wall Street demonstrators plan to hold a protest outside the meeting.

The board’s final vote is on June 21.

Any new increases will affect leases signed or renewed starting October 1.


Source: NY1 News