Eric Adams won’t turn down pending rent increase for stabilized NYC apartments

Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday refused to rule out supporting a controversial recommendation that the Big Apple’s rent regulator approve larger increases — up to 9% over two years — for stabilized housing.

“We don’t want to make the eviction process worse, but we also need to look at small property owners,” Adams said during an independent news conference in Manhattan. “You know, when you’re a mother and child who owns a 10 family unit and you know your electric bills are going up, your water bills are going up, that’s your only source of income. ”

Adams was speaking a week after the Rent Guidelines Board received a staff report that calculated rents on stabilized buildings for two-year leases would need to rise by 4.3% to 9% for landlords to maintain current profit margins and repairs .

One-year leases for the roughly 1 million rent-stabilized apartments in the five boroughs — around a third of the city’s total housing stock — could rise by 2.7% to 4.5%.

Mayor Adams speaks with New York Attorney General Letitia James on April 21.
Mayor Adams speaks with New York Attorney General Letitia James on April 21, 2022.
New York Mayor’s Office

“We have to be fair here,” Adams added, “allowing renters to stay in their homes, but we have to take care of these little aunt-owners.”

The rent committee has until June to make its final decision. If the proposed increases are approved, it would be the largest increase in stabilized housing rents since at least 2013.

Rent stabilization usually applies to buildings with more than five units built before 1974, so many properties owned by small landlords are exempt from the regulations.

All nine members of the Rental Committee are appointed by the mayor. To date, Adams has appointed three of the current members.

An aerial view of apartment buildings on the Upper East Side.
The increase could be up to 9% in two years.
Christopher Sadowski

The remaining six are holdovers from former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure, during which rents were frozen three times and rent increases remained in the low single digits, prompting protests from landlords who said they were being pressured.

Housing advocates and the City Council quickly jumped at the proposed hikes after they were circulated last week, with spokeswoman Adrienne Adams (D-Queens) calling the proposal “ruthless”.

“With the moratorium on evictions and other safeguards coming to an end, it makes no sense to propose a rent increase of up to 9% for renters, which would only exacerbate the housing and homelessness crisis our city is facing,” she said in a statement. Eric Adams won’t turn down pending rent increase for stabilized NYC apartments


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