Going beyond the rent freeze
Jun 30, 2015 | 17262 views | 0 0 comments | 932 932 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The New York City Rent Guidelines Board’s recent decision to freeze rents on one-year leases and only impose a two percent raise on two-year leases seems like the first win for the little-guy in terms of the city’s rising development. It may come with some negatives though, and the city better be prepared to fight.

More and more, New York City is becoming a luxury city and it’s the bad landlords and developers, helped along by some careless policy-making in the past, that are to blame. But even if it’s just a one-year reprieve from facing a laundry list of tough decisions for tenants – like food or rent – it’s the small victories that they should take solace in.

It can be a bit of a double-edged sword because one policy decision is not about to stand as a roadblock for the bad owners and landlords to get what they want.

The lack of increased revenue from rent may act even more as an incentive for owners to commit illegal acts to force tenants out, something that is becoming all-too-common in rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods.

So, while on the surface the victory is small, it cannot stand alone. The city and state need to step in now and continue to protect the rights of tenants. There are plenty of those, who for their own gain, would love to see an apartment free of rent-stabilized tenants.

The de Blasio administration, along with state officials, has attempted to address the problem and should be applauded. But in a fight of civics versus the money of development companies, we’ll place my money on the developer unless the politicians plan to use everything in their arsenal.

Now’s not the time to celebrate for tenants and politicians concerned about tenants’ rights. Now is the time to move swiftly to the next battle.
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