Nearly 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