In New York, Panel Backs Rent Increases for More Than 2 Million

In New York, Panel Backs Rent Increases for More Than 2 Million
Written by Arindam
In New York, Panel Backs Rent Increases for More Than 2 Million

Requests for comment from board members representing landlords were not immediately returned.

Even during Mr. de Blasio’s administration, there were several years when the board considered rent hikes of as high as 9.5 percent on two-year leases, among other options. And while the final number always ended up being much lower, tenants are afraid that the new members appointed by Mr. Adams could support higher increases.

Denisa Rodrigo, who lives in a rent-stabilized studio apartment in Sunnyside, Queens, said any increase would be “unsustainable.” Ms. Rodrigo, 56, lost her job as a medical assistant when the private doctor she worked for closed his office in 2020, during the worst of the pandemic. She said she is still searching for a new job.

Ms. Rodrigo’s monthly rent is $1,050, which she has mostly been unable to pay since April 2020. A pandemic rent relief program covered about $9,000 she owed, but she still has about $10,000 to repay, she said, and any incremental increase allowed by the board could leave her further in debt.

“I have been paying what I could, out of my savings, and depleting almost everything that I have,” she said.

She said she worries she will be evicted, and she said she would want the board to vote for a rent decrease instead.

The rent-stabilization system, established in 1969, has become a vast and important source of affordable housing in one of the most expensive places to live in the country. The median monthly rent is about $1,269, compared with $1,700 in homes that are not regulated.

The more than one million rent-stabilized apartments make up roughly half of the city’s rental housing stock. More than two million tenants — a population larger than Phoenix, Philadelphia or Dallas — live in those homes.

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