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

Landlords, Tenants Face Off At Rent Guidelines Board Public Hearing

Proposal Would Allow 3% Increase For 1-Year Leases, 4.5% For 2-Year Leases

June 13, 2013 2:31 PM

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The New York City Rent Guidelines Board held a public hearing in lower Manhattan Thursday.

As WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond reported, landlords were pitted against tenants and neither side was happy.

The rent board has proposed an increase on tenants of about a million rent-stabilized apartments.

Tenants hold signs at the Rent Guidelines Board public hearing, June 13, 2013. (credit: Juliet Papa/1010 WINS)

Under the proposal, a one-year lease could see a rent increase from 3.25 percent to 6.25 percent. A two-year lease could go up from 5 percent to 9.5 percent, according to the rent board.

Crown Heights building owner Constance Nugent-Miller said the proposed increases aren’t enough.

“Especially after Hurricane Sandy, how are we going to make our building safe? How are we going to protect those boilers from flood? It’s not going to be done for free,” she told Diamond.

“My taxes are 80 percent higher now than five years and my rent revenues have gone up less than 20 percent,” Washington Heights landlord Michael Vinocur told Diamond.

Susan Steinberg, who has a rent-stabilized apartment in Peter Cooper Village, said the cards are stacked against the tenants.

“This is a real problem. Many people are losing their homes and it’s just time for tenants to get a break,” Steinberg told Diamond.

Two Democratic candidates for mayor addressed the board at the hearing.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio both called for a rent freeze this year.

“You have raised rents throughout the crisis. It’s time to stop doing that and provide people relief,” de Blasio said.

The rent board approved increases of 2 percent for one-year renewals and 4 percent for two-year leases last year.

The hearing goes until 7 p.m. Thursday evening at the Emigrant Savings Bank Building located at 49-51 Chambers Street.

No public hearing will be held in Brooklyn, the Bronx or Queens this year, due to past poor attendance.

A final vote on the rent increase recommendations is scheduled for Thursday June 20.

Source: CBS New York