RGB Could Freeze One-Year Renewal Leases Again
On May 3, the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) voted on preliminary increases for next year for the city’s rent-stabilized apartments. The nine-member board voted 5-4 in favor of increases of 0 percent to 2 percent on one-year leases and 0.5 percent to 3.5 percent on two-year leases signed between Oct. 1, 2016, and Sept. 30, 2017.
The range is the same as last year, which led to the first rent freeze in the board’s history for one-year leases and an historically low increase of 2 percent on two-year leases. Last year was the first time all nine members of the board had been appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
This year’s RGB staff reports indicate that the price index of operating costs for rent-stabilized properties decreased 1.2 percent this year and that owners’ net operating income grew by 3.5 percent from 2013 to 2014. Low fuel costs and a mild winter meant owner’s costs actually fell over the last 12 months, for only the second time since 1969, according to the RGB staff. But owner groups contend that the numbers don’t present a full picture of costs. With the 0 percent or minimal rent increases approved in recent years, many owners are not making enough to maintain their aging buildings.
Upcoming RGB Meeting & Hearing Schedule
The board’s vote was a preliminary step before public hearings and a final decision on June 27. The new guidelines will be in effect for lease renewals between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30, 2017. Public hearings will be held in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan for the public and owners to weigh in on what final rent increases the board should set within the approved ranges. Meeting agendas will be posted online at least one day prior to each meeting, unless otherwise unavailable. And video of past RGB public meetings, hearings, and votes are available at https://www.youtube.com/user/RentGuidelinesBoard/videos. Video will be posted within three days following each event. The schedule of the upcoming RGB meetings is as follows:
- Thursday, May 26, 2016. Public Meeting; Landmarks Preservation Commission, Conference Room, David N. Dinkins Municipal Building, 1 Centre St., 9th Fl., New York, NY 10007—9:30 a.m.
- Thursday, June 9, 2016. Public Testimony; Jamaica Performing Arts Center Auditorium, 153-10 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, NY 11432—5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
- Monday, June 13, 2016. Public Testimony; Saint Francis College Founders Hall, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201—5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Thursday, June 16, 2016. Public Testimony; Bronx Museum of Art, Lower Gallery, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456—5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Monday, June 20, 2016. Public Testimony; Elebash Recital Hall, The Graduate Center, CUNY, 365 Fifth Avenue (Between 34th and 35th Streets), New York, NY 10016—2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Public Testimony; Oberia D. Dempsey Multi Service Center - Auditorium, 127 West 127th Street, New York, NY 10027—5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Monday, June 27, 2016. Public Meeting (Final Vote); The Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 East 7th St., New York, NY 10003—6:30 p.m.