You are reading

Mayor Pushing for Rent Freeze on City’s Regulated Apartments

Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a rent freeze Friday, along with other tenant relief measures (Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

April 24, 2020 By Allie Griffin

Mayor Bill de Blasio is pushing for a rent freeze for New York City’s one million rent-stabilized tenants.

The mayor is calling for a range of measures to assist New Yorkers unable to afford their rent amid the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting shutdown. He is also urging the state to help by allowing tenants to use their security deposit to pay their rent.

“As we get to the first of each month, this question of how am I going to pay my rent is coming up for more and more New Yorkers,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing from City Hall today. “And people are struggling.”

He called on the city’s Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) to issue an immediate rent freeze. The RGB sets how much — by a percentage — landlords can hike the rent on rent-stabilized apartments each year.

“To me it’s abundantly clear we need a rent freeze,” he said. “The facts couldn’t be clearer — greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.”

Yesterday, the board released a report that said it was becoming more costly for landlords to operate rent stabilized buildings. The report said that rents for regulated apartments should increase to keep landlords’ net operating income stable. It suggested a 2.5 to 3.5 percent hike for one-year leases and a 3.3 to 6.75 percent for two-year leases.

De Blasio called the report “misleading” and said that it favored landlords over renters.

“The challenges that landlords are facing right now are real — I’m not belittling them — but they pale in comparison to the challenges that tenants are facing,” the mayor said.

He also asked the state government to help New Yorkers who are suddenly unable to pay their rent.

The state should allow renters to use their security deposit to cover this month’s rent as an immediate solution, de Blasio said.

“This is something the state can do quickly and easily and it makes so much sense,” he said, adding that the security deposits are sitting in escrow accounts currently unusable to either party.

De Blasio said the state should also allow tenants who are unable to pay their rent to defer payments.

“Let them defer the rent. If people don’t have any money, they don’t have money.”

The landlords and their tenants can then establish a repayment plan that each party can agree to, he said.

Lastly, de Blasio called on New York State to extend the eviction moratorium, which is set to expire in June. He said it should be extended to 60 days past the end of the crisis.

“The bottom line is tenants need more help,” de Blasio said.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.