Housing/apartment (280807)
Housing/apartment Credit: Bill Moore photo

The New York City Rent Guidelines Board is currently considering rent adjustments for the upcoming year. Its own data, supporting research and analysis from the Furman Center at New York University, and expert opinions from other housing experts have reached the same conclusion. A modest rent adjustment from the RGB is necessary to stabilize New York City housing.

We want to work with the mayor, the New York City Council and other partners to create a sustainable pathway to better and more housing in New York City. Things New Yorkers desperately need.
This is why we fought for an additional $2,000,000,000 in funding for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)––including registering thousands of tenants to get the help they needed.

We went to Albany to push for $800,000,000 in funding for the Housing Access Voucher Program. Because we believe struggling New Yorkers need housing and dignity.

We want to build more housing. We want to invest in our current housing. We want tenants to have reasonable rights. We actually want many of the same things as the folks that disagree with us.

Our goal is to give as many New Yorkers access to the best and most affordable housing there is by an equal effort from our members and our government partners.

But after a decade of rent freezes and de minimis increases, we need real relief. The heating bills have doubled. Water bills have increased. Property taxes have gone up. Inflation is over 8%. After years of bending, we are finally breaking. A reasonable correction is desperately needed from this RGB to allow our members the breathing room to ensure we can continue to provide safe and high-quality housing.

Whether it is the Haitian American family who owns several buildings in Flatbush, the third-generation Chinese American woman who manages properties in Chinatown, or the Mexican brothers who own 18 units in Corona, the numbers aren’t adding up for owners and property managers across New York City.

Our members are small business owners. We employ tens of thousands of New Yorkers and are an immense part of the New York City economy. According to all available data our request for a small rent adjustment is modest and is key to keeping folks employed with good housing and contributing to the New York City economy.

We’ll fight like hell for better housing policy, more government investment, more money for vouchers, better low- to mid-income housing, and lots more. We just need to build the bridge to get there.
An increase from the RGB will help our members keep up with costs. That’s all. It is a vital step in the right direction to the all-of-the-above housing approach New York City needs. Let’s get this done and move our city forward.

Jay Martin is executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program.

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