New York, NY TODAY, the New York City Rent Guidelines Board will take a preliminary vote on proposed rent stabilized apartment guidelines for one- and two-year renewal leases. In response to the upcoming vote, Assemblymember Harvey Epstein released the following statement:
Against the backdrop of a worsening homelessness crisis and rising landlord profits, I am calling on the Rent Guidelines Board to look at the facts and roll back rents for the million-plus New Yorkers who call a rent-stabilized apartment home. For 13 years in a row, landlords have enjoyed increasing Net Operating Incomes. Over the same period of time, the homelessness crisis in our city has spiraled to astonishing levels. New York City now has the largest population of homeless people in the United States: upwards of 60,000 New Yorkers could be sleeping in a shelter tonight.
Landlords face no similar hardships. To the contrary: they are enjoying a favorable economic climate with low debt service fees and declining mortgage interest rates. The market value of Class 2 properties, which includes rental apartment buildings, increased 6.6 percent or upwards of $20 billion, according to data released by the citys Department of Finance at the beginning of the year.
Rent-regulated housing is one of our citys most powerful tools to stop the displacement of our neighbors and the destabilization of our communities. The Board has the power to roll back rents and I am urging them to use it in this moment of crisis. Nothing short of a rent freeze is acceptable but sadly, even that may be too little for some tenants.