De Blasio: “the rent freeze speaks for itself”. Really?

Democratic mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio has maintained his call for a rent freeze on one million stabilized apartments next year. A De Blasio spokesman told Crain’s New York, “the rent freeze speaks for itself”.

But De Blasio was FOR a rent increase before he was AGAINST a rent increase. During this year’s Rent Guidelines deliberations, De Blasio was quoted as being in favor of a rent increase for small property owners. After being pummeled by the other Democratic candidates for his stance, De Blasio switched his position and called for zero rent increases across the board. Bill De Blasio is a smart man and his initial position on rent increases probably recognized the fact that most property owners would need a rent increase as long as city taxes, oil, insurance and other operating costs continue to escalate. If De Blasio is elected Mayor, we will soon know whether he remains mired in campaign rhetoric or whether he has the courage to stand up to his supporters and do what is necessary to maintain affordable housing in New York City.

Rent-Freeze Pledge Chills Landlords

De Blasio Proposal Would Affect More Than One Million in Stabilized Apartments

By JOHN SURICO

Among the policy proposals pushed by Democratic mayoral nominee Bill de Blasio to make New York City more affordable is one that would affect more than one million residents: a moratorium on rent increases in rent-stabilized apartments.

A so-called rent freeze hasn’t happened in the 44-year history of the Rent Guidelines Board, a body of nine mayoral appointees that sets monthly rates for a million apartments. The idea is opposed by Republican nominee Joe Lhota and the city’s real-estate community, with which Mr. de Blasio is friendly.

The next mayor will have significant leverage over the rent board when he takes office on Jan. 1, with power to appoint four new members. Mr. de Blasio has said he would select what he described as pro-tenant, pro-stabilization board members. Continue reading