New York City rent may be the highest it's ever been, and millions of New Yorkers may soon have to pay more for their current apartments.
The Rent Guidelines Board (a group of nine people appointed by the mayor) on Tuesday, May 2, passed a preliminary first vote on lease changes for rent-stabilized apartments in New York City. The vote, which was divided 5-4, approves rent increases of 2-5% for one-year leases and 4-7% for two-year leases.
Over a million rent-controlled and rent-stabilized apartments are occupied throughout the five boroughs, meaning millions of New Yorkers may be faced with imminent rent increases. These apartments are owned by private landlords, not New York City itself.
“While we are reviewing the preliminary ranges put forward by the Rent Guidelines Board this evening, I want to be clear that a 7% rent increase is clearly beyond what renters can afford and what I feel is appropriate this year,” Mayor Eric Adams said following the vote. “I recognize that property owners face growing challenges maintaining their buildings and accessing financing to make repairs; at the same time, we simply cannot put tenants in a position where they can’t afford to make rent.”
Rent Stabilization has been in place since 1969, as a way to prevent rents from skyrocketing. Rent Control is a slightly different policy that entitles tenants who’ve continuously been in the same unit prior to 1971 not to need a new lease, and continue paying their original rent, with limited increases and eviction protection.
Many have voiced dissent against the proposed rent increases, which will face a final vote in June.
"This proposed increase is an insult to the nearly 50% of tenants in New York City who pay half their monthly income to rent. Saddling working-class New Yorkers with another rent hike in these uncertain economic times is tantamount to theft," tweeted NYC council member Shahana Hanif.
With over half of New Yorkers already unable to afford the average cost of living in this city and a very limited minimum wage increase proposed by 2026, the proposed increase comes at a challenging time for many.