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NYC Tenants Furious With Rent Guideline Board’s Decision To Hike Rates

Landlords Refuse To Declare Victory, Say Increases Not Nearly Enough
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NYC rent protests

Protesters stand outside the Rent Guidelines Board in anticipation of a pivotal meeting on June 27, 2011. (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Rent rage is on.

Residents in more than 1 million rent-stabilized apartments in New York City found out Monday night they will soon pay more each month, thanks to a vote by the Rent Guidelines Board, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

Their cries were relentless.

“That’s not right! That’s not right!”

Hundreds of residents filled Cooper Union on Monday night to fight against rent increases for rent-stabilized apartments.

But their wishes would go unfulfilled.

1010 WINS’ Kathleen Maloney Reports From Cooper Union

“I think it’s terrible for tenants. It’s unconscionable,” one person said.

After multiple proposals from tenant and owner members of the Rent Guidelines Board — ranging from no rent hikes to 10 percent increases – the board finally approved an increase of 3.75 percent for one-year leases and 7.25 percent for two-year leases, reports CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez.

“For people that don’t get pay increases and for those people who are on fixed incomes, this is disastrous,” Upper West Side resident Eddie Albino said.

“And the cost of food, the cost of living expenses have gone up. There has been no relief at all for the poor and moderate income,” Lower East Side resident Georgina Christ added.

“I don’t even know what I’m going to do, because I’m paying over $700 now and I don’t know what it’s going to get up to next year. Next year another increase. We’re gonna be homeless. By the time this all ends, we’re going to be homeless,” said Doris Rodriguez of Washington Heights.

Landlord Chris Athineos said the hike is not enough for owners to maintain their property.

“We feel like we lost too, because the increases that they passed tonight don’t come close to covering our increased real estate taxes, water and sewer charges, plumbing charges and electrical,” Athineos said.

“Our oil bills are so high, enormously high. And, I mean, who’s going to pay the oil bill? I mean, the increases are not high enough. We’re not keeping up with inflation,” landlord Mary Michalos said.

“Unfortunately year after year they already know what they’re going to do. So that to me seems to be a sham.”

In the end it was only the two tenant members of the board who voted against the rent increases. But, as always, neither tenants nor owners left happy.

The rent increases will go into affect on Oct. 1.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

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