City proposes latest round of rent hikes

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It’s that time of year again.

The New York City Rent Guidelines Board has proposed its hike for rent-stabilized apartments, but this one may not be as big as in years’ past. 

This year’s proposed increase for one-year renewal leases is between 1.75 and 4 percent and 3.5 to 6.75 percent for two-year leases. Last year, the Rent Guidelines Board set increases at a maximum of 3.75 percent for one-year leases and 7.25 percent for two-year leases.

The Rent Guidelines Board will hold public hearings on the increase in June.

The increase, if passed, will affect leases that expire between Monday, October 1, 2012 and Monday, September 30, 2013.

Riverdalian Mickey Gensler of the Skyview Tenants Association said he represents approximately 200 rent-stabilized renters at Skyview in North Riverdale and many of them, like him, are seniors who live on a fixed income. He opposes the proposed increase. 

“When there is a bad winter there is a raise, when there is a mild winter there is a raise. They manage to raise rents almost to the maximum every time,” said Mr. Gensler.

Not everyone agrees with Mr. Gensler.

One small organization, New York City Renters Alliance, wants to reform the city’s housing market and phase out rent-regulated apartments because they argue they’re unfair for new renters. The group, made up of market-rate renters, argues the truly needy, like seniors living on fixed incomes, should benefit from subsidies, but that well-off New Yorkers should not get to pay a fraction of the market rate.

The Bronx public hearing will take place on Wednesday, June 13 at the Repertory Theatre of Hostos Community College, located at 450 Grand Concourse, at 4:30 p.m. Written comments can be sent to RGB at 51 Chambers St., Suite 202, New York, N.Y. 10007 or sent by fax to 212-385-2554 or e-mailed to board@nycrgb.org. Written testimony must be received by Monday, June 18.

After hearing testimony from the five boroughs, the board will meet on Thursday, June 21 in Manhattan to adopt the final hike.

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