“Ending the ability to combine units will lead to less housing, not more. You cannot regulate your way out of a housing affordability crisis. You need to build your way out.”
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday said it will not consider a challenge to rent stabilization from major landlord groups in New York, prompting a sigh of relief among tenants even as they await clarity on two other similar cases still pending.
The public will likely learn in October if challenges to rent stabilization—from landlords and trade groups including the Community Housing Improvement Program and Rent Stabilization Association—will proceed before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In an unusual twist, the two tenant-aligned members of the Rent Guidelines Board, tenant lawyer Adán Soltren and organizer Genesis Aquino, voted in favor of Wednesday’s increases—3 percent for a one-year lease and a split two-year lease of 2.75 percent in year one and a further 3.2 percent in year two.
Bills aimed at helping rent stabilized tenants dig deeper into their rent histories to challenge suspicious increases sailed through the State Assembly, capping off an anticlimactic year for housing policy in Albany. One bill also amends rent regulation rules, limiting how much landlords can charge when they combine, or “frankenstein” apartments.
Andrew Schustek and Avi Garelick |
If the RGB is meant to protect tenants, its record is mixed at best. But the alternative, a city of free market rentals, would be much worse. How can this be explained? And what can it teach the tenants movement nationwide?
Housing and land use-related events taking place in the week ahead, as well as affordable housing lotteries that are ending soon.
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.
Avi Garelick and Andrew Schustek |
“The result of the latest reporting only serves to reinforce an unequal economic standing between landlords and tenants. Through its limited scope, this reporting causes unnecessary panic, potential demoralization, and ultimately a false sense of relief if the board goes with anything lower than the reported high end number.”