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Morning Spew

The Too Damn High Rent Is Going Even Higher

A second straight year of City Hall-stamped rent increases.

9:37 AM EDT on June 22, 2023

City Council members Chi Osse, Alexa Aviles, Sandy Nurse, Shahana Hanif, and Tiffany Caban and tenant organizers disrupt the Rent Guidelines Board 2023 preliminary vote.

City Council members Chi Osse, Alexa Aviles, Sandy Nurse, Shahana Hanif, and Tiffany Caban and tenant organizers disrupt the Rent Guidelines Board 2023 preliminary vote in May (Hell Gate)

Last night, after months of tenant-led pushback to proposed rent hikes for New York's over one million rent-stabilized units, the Rent Guidelines Board voted to raise rents for the second year in a row. Eric Adams has now twice raised rents on people living in some of New York City's last remaining "affordable" homes, and during a time of unprecedented rent increases for market-rate apartments. 

By a 5-4 vote, landlords will now be able to raise rents three percent on one-year leases and a maximum increase on two-year leases that boils down to 2.75 percent in year one, and 3.2 percent in year two. (Have fun with the math, tenants!)

How did this all shake out? Well, Adams appointed enough landlord-friendly (and crypto-enthusiast) representatives to the nine-person board to essentially bake in rent increases. Tenant advocates on the board eventually gave their go-ahead to the increases after deciding that it was the best they could do, considering the rest of the board was gunning for even higher increases

This year's vote was deemed way too "contentious" for the powers that be, after tenants and their advocates stormed the stage at a hearing this spring to protest their homes becoming unaffordable. In advance of last night's vote, the RGB switched locations and banned noisemakers (lest people displacing others be inconvenienced by voices of dissent).

Still, tenants made their voices heard:

Of course, landlords weren't pleased with the rent hike either—they wanted it even higher (last year's was 3.25 percent on one-year, and five percent on two-year leases). Elsewhere in New York state, rents were frozen in the city of Kingston. 

In a statement, Mayor Eric Adams said he believes the board found "the right balance," by providing apartment owners with extra income (which we're sure they'll definitely put toward making any improvements to their apartments). Adams has also in the past proclaimed that "I am real estate." 

Once again, tenants are left with another hole in their budget as everything else in the city costs more and more. It's expensive being poor (or just trying to live in Eric Adams's New York). 

Some links (not subject to a rent increase this year): 

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