Some New York residents hoping to see relief during a time of rising costs and inflation may be in for a major disappointment.
That’s because the New York City Rent Guidelines Board recommended rent increases on rent-regulated apartments last week.
The board’s staff, which consists of four people all appointed by Mayor Eric Adams, recommended rent increases between 2.7 percent and 4.5 percent for one-year leases and 4.3 percent to 9 percent for two-year leases.
The board made the case that data on operating costs for landlords justified higher increases this year. Some of those cost increases were seen in areas like fuel, insurance and maintenance, which rose by 19.6 percent, 10.9 percent and 9.2 percent, respectively. On the other hand, real estate taxes dropped by 3.7 percent.
But housing advocates like Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz are calling the recommendations unfair.
“The Rent Guidelines Board recommendation for a 9 percent increase on two-year leases is a disgrace,” Dinowitz said on Twitter last week.
“It would force countless New Yorkers into homelessness and must be stopped. The pandemic fallout is still being felt, and we must do everything we can to keep people in their homes.”
Housing Committee chair Pierina Sánchez along with Council Speaker Adrienne Adams came out against the recommendation in a joint statement.
“New Yorkers are still feeling the squeeze from the economic impacts of the pandemic, rising inflation, and other expenses. It is unfair and unreasonable to pass the burden to the tenants of rent-stabilized tenants, who are still struggling to recover. With the eviction moratorium and other protections expired, it is unconscionable to propose a rent increase of up to 9 percent for renters, which would only exacerbate the housing and homelessness crises confronting our city.
“We call on the Rent Guidelines Board to seriously consider the harm that level of rent hike would cause and support actions that would safeguard the safety, health, and well-being of New York’s rent-stabilized tenants.”
The entire nine-member board is expected to vote on the increase of rent on July 1.
The New York City Housing Authority and the New York Power Authority announced Tuesday that they will begin construction on a $72 million energy-efficient upgrade to improve heating systems NYCHA buildings, like Marble Hill Houses.
The $72 million project will provide greater heat and hot water service for more than 4,000 residents across 2,100 public housing apartments, according to the agencies. In addition, they will serve to reduce annual carbon emissions by nearly 2,200 metric tons.
It’s just the latest effort by the housing agency to fix the ongoing heating problem many of the housing complexes across the city have experienced. Numerous of complaints about the agency’s outdated heating system have gone on for years. NYCHA’s chair hopes to put that all to an end in the coming year.
“Modernizing NYCHA’s building infrastructure by incorporating more energy-efficient heating equipment is a beneficial way to reduce energy usage and lower carbon emissions,” said NYCHA Chair & CEO Greg Russ. “Our partnership with NYPA and support from across city, state, and federal levels of government will be instrumental in helping the Authority meet the goals of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and the Climate Mobilization Act, while also addressing heating-related capital needs for these developments in the near-term.”
Marble Hill is expected to see $13.7 million to have its heating system upgraded.
Tenant association president Tony Edwards is relieved to see the plans move forward.
“Some of the actual work has already begun,” Edwards told The Riverdale Press last month. “It seems like they are moving right along schedule now.”