By Abigail Nehring
Rent-stabilized tenants will have to cut their landlords a bigger check this year after the Rent Guidelines Board decided last week to raise rents for roughly a million apartments under its control.
Apartments with one-year leases will see rents rise by more than 3 percent, while two-year leases will go up as high as 5 percent beginning Oct. 1. At a median rent of $1,400, monthly increases would equate to more than $45 for one-year leases — or another $540 per year — and $70, or $840 annually, for two.
The final figures are within this year’s range of “commensurate” adjustments required to maintain what officials call net operating income in the regulated housing stock — one of the considerations the nine members take into account in arriving at “fair” rent increases each year.
Community Board 8 scores much lower on many of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development’s risk indicators than its Bronx neighbors. More than 2 percent of renters faced eviction in the greater Riverdale area, a rate expected to sharply increase this year. City housing courts do not track the rent regulation status of eviction cases, although tenant advocates point out it would be easy to do so.
Councilman Eric Dinowitz called the board’s increases a “grave misstep.” His father, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, equally condemned it, while state Sen. Alessandra Biaggi called the board’s decision “unconscionable.” She said it would “only result in more working class, low-income and immigrant New Yorkers being displaced and pushed out of the communities they’ve called home for decades.”
In his latest newsletter to constituents, the elder Dinowitz said he was “deeply disappointed and angry” about the vote.
“These increases are horrible for New Yorkers,” he said. “And I am deeply concerned that many people will be forced from their homes because they cannot afford to pay the increase. Property owners have had their run of the show for decades, and are still earning significant profits on the backs of tenants.”
Hitting the most
For tenants, the vote is a grim defeat, portending displacement and hardship as household budgets buckle under a 5.5 percent inflation rate in the New York metropolitan area. …….