— Corey Johnson (@CoreyinNYC) April 29, 2015
The Rent Guidelines Board rejected the idea of a rollback in a preliminary vote last night, but there’s still the possibility of a freeze in the coming year.
The board voted to consider increases in 1-year rent-stabilized leases from 0-2% when a final decision is made this summer. Two-year leases could increase 0.5-3.5%. The vote is the first from a board appointed entirely by Mayor de Blasio, who has made affordable housing his signature issue.
According to the Times, Harvey Epstein, a board member and Lower East Side housing activist, argued during the public meeting, “The question is what New York will look like in 10 years, who is this New York going to be for?… But we need to preserve what’s here, and therefore I say we need a rent rollback now.” Landlord representatives, however, warned that it’s impossible to fund affordable housing construction and preservation without increased revenue. According to a report from the Rent Guidelines Board, building operating expenses rose just 0.5% this year while net operating income increased in 2013 by 3.4 percent.
A final vote takes place in June.