While Albany leaders failed to pass a comprehensive package of housing legislation this week, some advocates and high-ranking lawmakers have been working on a pair of bills they say could strengthen protections for tenants across New York City’s stock of roughly 1 million rent stabilized apartments.
The Rent Guidelines Board Tuesday voted in favor of rent hikes between 2 to 5 percent for a one-year lease and 4 to 7 percent for two-year leases. A final vote won’t happen until June, but the preliminary numbers have historically set the goalposts: annual adjustments have fallen within these ranges since 2004, when the board began using them.
The latest vacancy data now mirrors pre-COVID figures following a “pandemic-height outlier,” according to New York State’s affordable housing agency. The number of empty apartments also matches the vacancy rate prior to landmark 2019 tenant protections that landlords blamed for the spike in empty units last year.
Tenants say they fear the property owners are waging a war of attrition, waiting the renters out until they give up, move on and forfeit the rent-regulated apartments.
Ocean Village lost power after Sandy. But danger and deprivation were nothing new to its 1,000-plus residents, who hope a new owner and $110 million in public financing change the tide.
The city is in the midst of an historic plan to build affordable housing. But people who want to live in those low-income units face enormous difficulty finding and applying for government-subsidized apartments.