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Rent Guidelines Board’s Historic Vote

​Amid hundreds of tenants chanting “the Governor betrayed us/the RGB will save us,” the RGB made a historic move in freezing rents on one-year leases, something never before done in its history. In another rare move, the board, in a 7 to 2 vote, approved the guidelines proposed by the tenant representatives at a first pass. Normally, there are landlord propositions and “tenant” propositions made before a final vote is achieved.

In casting her vote, RGB Chair, Rachel Godsil, explained the reason for the 2% increase for two-year leases: The RGB has an obligation to both landlords and tenants, she pointed out, and landlords -- particularly smaller ones -- needed to have some assistance in affording to maintain their properties. However, she noted that tenants are unduly rent burdened while most landlords are doing okay. Hence the vote for a rent freeze.

While the tenants in attendance at The Great Hall, Cooper Union wanted a rollback, Harvey Epstein, tenant representative, addressed the crowd prior to the vote saying that a rollback was not on the table but zero percent would be an unprecedented victory.  

Last night’s vote will enable tenants on the verge of losing their homes to stay put and brings a victory to an unfortunate week of rent regulations negotiations. To see Mayor Di Blasio’s statement on last night’s vote, click here 

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