RGB Votes for Rent Increases in Preliminary Vote
In a preliminary vote on May 5, the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) recommended increasing rents for rent-stabilized apartment buildings. The RGB is made up of nine mayoral appointees, two of whom represent tenants, two who represent landlords, and another five members who are supposed to act on behalf of the general public. During the preliminary vote, five members of the board voted in favor of the proposed hikes. The board's preliminary vote called for the following proposed lease guidelines for rent-stabilized apartments:
- A 2 to 4 percent increase on one-year leases; and
- A 4 to 6 percent increase on two-year leases.
Under Mayor Bill de Blasio, the RGB adopted a more tenant-friendly approach, imposing an unprecedented rent freeze for the first time in 2015 to 2016 and two other times during his time in office. And last year, the RGB voted to freeze rents for six months before allowing a 1.5 percent increase on one-year leases starting April 1. Two-year leases saw a 2.5 percent increase.
Last month, RGB staff suggested rent increases between 2.7 percent and 4.5 percent for one-year leases and 4.3 percent and 9 percent for two-year leases. However, in a statement following the preliminary vote, Mayor Eric Adams took credit for the board’s decision to avoid the higher end of the recommended percentage increases that the RGB's staff had recommended last month. “I believed that the numbers initially reported were much too high, so I called for a better balance—and it is good the board moved lower,” Adams said.
"But if rents and the other costs of living are going to go up with inflation and other economic issues, then so too must government support, which is why I have been fighting for a more generous housing voucher program, a more robust earned income tax credit, and significant investments in child care,” his statement added.
The final vote will occur on June 21. Until then, owners have the opportunity to comment on the proposed rent guidelines.
How to Comment on the Proposed Rent Guidelines
Anyone can comment on the proposed guidelines. The deadline to submit comments is June 16, 2022. You can submit comments through the following methods:
Website. You can submit comments to the NYC Rent Guidelines Board through the NYC rules website at http://rules.cityofnewyork.us.
Email. You can email comments to email@example.com.
Audio. You can leave a voicemail comment at (929) 256-5472. You can also submit prerecorded audio comments up to two minutes in length. Instructions to upload your audio file can be found on the RGB’s website, https://rentguidelinesboard.cityofnewyork.us/testimony/.
Video. You can submit prerecorded video comments up to two minutes in length. Instructions to upload your video can be found on the RGB’s website, https://rentguidelinesboard.cityofnewyork.us/testimony/.
Speaking at the hearing. Anyone who wants to comment on the proposed rule at a public hearing must sign up to speak. Registration to speak will begin May 23, 2022. You can register online at https://www.nyc.gov/rgb, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can sign up to speak by calling (212) 669-7480 from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You can also sign up at the public hearings from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 13, and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 15. You can speak for up to two minutes.
Schedule of Upcoming RGB Meetings
The RGB will hold two public hearings in June to get feedback on the proposed rates before a final vote on June 21. If approved, the new rules would affect leases in place from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2023.
➤ MON, JUNE 13, Time: 5 to 9 p.m. — Public Testimony
Jamaica Performing Arts Center, Auditorium
153-10 Jamaica Ave., Jamaica, NY 11432
➤ WED, JUN 15, Time: 4 to 9 p.m. — Public Testimony
Hostos Community College/CUNY., Main Theatre
450 Grand Concourse; Bronx, NY 10451
➤ TUE, JUN 21, Time: 7:30 p.m. — Final Vote
Great Hall at Cooper Union
7 East Seventh St. (basement); New York, NY 10003