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Guidelines Board Considers Rent Freeze For First Time Ever

(file / credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(file / credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Rent Guidelines Board voted Monday to consider keeping rents at their current level for one-year leases on rent-regulated apartments.

As 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria reported, the board voted to consider renewals with 0 to 3 percent rent increases on one-year rent-regulated leases, and 0.5 to 4.5 percent increases on two-year leases.

This was the first time the board has ever considered a rent freeze in its 44-year history. Rent Stabilization Association executive vice president Jack Freund, who represents the landlords, called the vote outrageous.

“I believe there’ll be a 0 percent rent increase and a .5 percent rent increase for two-year leases. Every tenant in the city will then take a two-year lease. Owners will have no increase in income for two years,” Freund said.

But Harvey Epstein, representing tenants on the board, was thrilled.

“I look forward to the next six weeks of tenants testifying, and talking about their struggle, and actually convincing everyone on the Rent Guidelines Board that we need the 0 to be the permanent increase this year,” Epstein said.

Some members also told D’Auria they hoped for a rent rollback.

Public hearings on the proposal will follow in all five boroughs, before a final vote June 23.

Last year, the board voted that rent could go up 4 percent on one-year lease renewals and 7.75 percent on two-year lease renewals of rent-stabilized apartments. That was nearly double the increase that was approved the year before.

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There are about 1 million rent-stabilized apartments across the five boroughs.