STUYVESANT TOWN, Manhattan (PIX11) — It’s that time of year again when tenants and landlords clash over how much of a rent increase those living in rent-stabilized apartments should be getting.
The New York City Rent Guidelines Board will take a preliminary vote on Tuesday, weighing the possibility of a 15.75% increase.
“It’s ridiculous, off the charts. These guys are making way too much money,” Peter Cooper Village resident Andrew Lawrence, 80, told PIX11 News.
Lawrence has lived in a rent-stabilized apartment in Peter Cooper Village, part of Stuyvesant Town, since 1968. Lawrence said he can’t understand how the Rent Guidelines Board is even considering the possibility of a 15.75% rent increase on two-year leases when they meet Tuesday.
“I don’t think we need any rent increase,” Lawrence said. “The landlords get all these subsidies.”
There are 1 million rent-stabilized apartments in New York City, more than 6,000 of which are located in Stuyvesant Town in Manhattan.
A recent report by the NYC Rent Guidelines Board said the possible range of rent hikes was 5.3% for one-year leases to 6.6% for two-year leases on the low end, and on the high-end 8.25% for one-year leases, and a staggering 15.75% for two-year leases.
“I think anything is a possibility,” Leah Goodridge, a former Rent Guidelines Board member, told PIX11 News. “I think the decision to weigh a 15% or 16% increase is to get people to accept a large increase.”
While no landlord groups were available for interviews on Sunday, many testified last week that landlords need the highest rent hikes possible because of higher operating expenses and rising inflation.
But Goodridge, the managing attorney for housing policy at Mobilization For Justice, said she doesn’t see how her tenant clients can pay any more in rent.
“I think we should have a rent freeze,” Goodridge said. “We have a behemoth housing crisis. We are at a crossroads. We have a homelessness crisis.”
The NYC Rent Guidelines Board’s final vote is expected in June.