New York City rent board approves steepest hikes since the Bloomberg era

About 2.4 million New York City renters will face the biggest rent increases they’ve seen in nearly a decade after the Rent Guidelines Board approved the increases in a split vote Tuesday night.

The panel of nine appointed mayors, which determines rent adjustments for approximately one million rent-stabilized apartments, voted 5-4 to increase rents by 3.25% for one-year leases and 5% for for two year leases. Rates fell within the middle of the ranges approved by the board last month, between 2% and 4% for one-year leases; and between 4% and 6% for two-year leases, and represent the biggest jump in stabilized rents since Mike Bloomberg was mayor.

Tenant groups and advocates called for rent freezes or even reductions at a series of public hearings and rallies ahead of Tuesday’s vote, pointing to the rising cost of living in New York City and already substandard building conditions.

But landlords have pushed for even bigger increases, arguing that building maintenance and insurance costs have risen. And after eight years of little or no increases under former Mayor Bill de Blasio, owners say they can no longer afford to keep their buildings in good repair.

Under de Blasio, the board kept rent increases at record lows, never topping 1.5% for one-year leases and 2.75% for two-year leases in any given year. During the first year of the pandemic, the board kept rents fixed. Tuesday’s vote was the first under Mayor Eric Adams’ administration and set the tone for a more homeowner-friendly era.

Adams, who is also a landlord, campaigned for a more business-friendly mayoralty than his predecessor. Within minutes of concluding the vote, he issued a statement.

“Unfortunately, today’s Rent Guidelines Board determination will be a burden to tenants at this difficult time, and that is disappointing,” the Mayor said. “At the same time, small landlords risk bankruptcy due to years without a raise, putting building owners with modest means at risk and threatening the quality of life for tenants who deserve to live in modern, well-appointed buildings. maintained. ”

The increases in rent-stabilized tenants come amid an increase in market-rate rents. The city’s median rent for unregulated apartments rose 28 percent in the last year, to $3,200, according to StreetEasy. The “good cause” eviction bill, which would have given market-rate tenants similar rights to rent stabilized and protected against the kind of steep increases that currently affect many tenants, did not make it through the state Legislature this year.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

Gwynne Hogan contributed reporting.

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