Rent Rollback Hopes Dashed by RGB Preliminary Vote

Rent Rollback Hopes Dashed by RGB Preliminary Vote

Despite a significant showing of rent-regulated tenants from all five boroughs demonstrating in favor of a rent rollback, the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) has voted for increases as follows for leases starting or renewing on October 1, 2016 through September 30, 2017:

One-year lease: 0%–2.0%

Two-year lease: 0.5%–3.5%

The tenant members of the RGB—Harvey Epstein and Sheila Garcia—eloquently expressed how tenants had consistently been providing landlords windfall profits during economic downturns. Also, given the housing crisis in the city and the city’s data showing landlords’ operating costs decreased, it was time to balance 46 years of RGB history by giving a rollback, they said.

For leases with preferential rents (lower than the maximum legal rent), these increases are added to the maximum legal rent. The preferential rent will continue to be determined by the owner.

The usual game played out at the meeting. The tenant members proposed a –4% to 0% increase for a one-year lease and –2% to 0% for a two-year lease. The proposal failed. Owner members proposed 4% for a one-year lease and 6.75% for a two-year lease, and the proposal failed. Finally, the chair proposed the ranges stated above. This passed, but with resounding no votes from the tenant members. The two owner members also voted no.

Tenants have the opportunity to testify in favor of a zero increase for both one and two years on Monday, June 20, 2016, at the Great Hall, Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street (corner of Third Avenue), 2:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.

The final vote will be held on Monday, June 27, at the Great Hall, Cooper Union, 7 East 7th Street (corner of Third Avenue) at 6:30 p.m.

Members of the public wishing to communicate their views to the RGB may do so via two methods:

  1. Testify in person at hearings (three minutes maximum).

  2. Submit your views in writing by addressing them to the Chair, or any Board member, c/o NYC Rent Guidelines Board, 1 Centre St., Suite 2210, New York, NY 10007, or by email to [email protected].