Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Man Sorry

eeentNearly half of the total rentable apartments in New York City are rent stabilized, which means what it sounds like. Mayor Bill de Blasio, who appointed six of the nine people currently on the board that approves rent increases for these not-quite-a-million rent-stabilized apartments, believed that rents for one-year leases should be frozen this year. Because like, the rent is too damn high and everyone is moving to Ridgewood, since I mean look at these numbers and then these numbers or just about any numbers covering rent and the economy over the last five years.

Neither the fact that de Blasio vocally advocated for a freeze, nor that he appointed a clear majority of the board, apparently mattered at all: the Rent Guidelines Board approved a one per cent increase for one-year leases and a 2.75 per cent increase on two-year leases. Curiously, Stephen Flax, a vice president at M & T bank and a de Blasio appointee, suggested the hike:

It was Mr. Flax who proposed the 1 percent increase as a compromise, saying, “It costs money to run buildings.”

But he apologized for his vote. “I have to vote my conscience,” he said, “and I have to say this moment is a nightmare.”

Everybody has nightmares! Some dream about being a monster; others, like the one third of rent-stabilized tenants who spend more than half of their income on rent, probably have nightmares about things like cutting that monthly check.

Photo by milo tobin

7 Comments / Post A Comment

grendan (#269,504)

Ridgewood is great I don't see what the problem is.

@grendan good prices out by that superfund site

grendan (#269,504)

@antarctica starts here lol I've staunchly avoided checking to see how close that is to my apartment

hershmire (#233,671)

I only spend 48% of my income on a rent-stabilized apartment and I sleep sound as a pound.

Speaking of which, would anyone be able to lend me a pound? Or a quarter? I'd like lunch this week.

joeclark (#651)

You mean 1% and 2.5% increases. The Awl is not writing in Latin.

szajic (#280,117)

I was curious, so I dug around for some facts about income and rent stabilization in NYC. Table D of this report (from 2011) is really enlightening:


+ The impact of rent regulation is tremendously huge in Manhattan (where it results in rental savings of ~$1200/month), but less so in the boroughs, where the savings tend to be about $2-300/month – not nothing by any means, but far less dramatic. I'd guess that in the three years since this report, prices in Brooklyn have swung up.
+ Median income of Manhattan renters: $100k for market rate, $49k for rent regulated. Again, this difference is enormous for Manhattan, but not more than $10k in the boroughs.
+ New York is eating everybody alive, everywhere: In all boroughs and in both rent-regulated and market rate apartments, roughly half of renters (sometimes >60%) are 'rent burdened' (rent >30% of income). For some reason, people of all incomes and locales consider it worth it to continue to fork over painfully large fractions of their income to live in the Big Apple.

Burnerjack (#280,143)

Why not let the rules of supply/demand rule? Can't afford NYC? Don't live there. If and when enough people realize how much better their lives can be elsewhere, the population will begin to decrease as will the rents.

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