From the Jody Kriss Blog: Stabilized Rent to Freeze Again?

Jody Kriss of East River Partners focuses on rejuvenating neighborhoods and making some of New York City’s oldest treasures not only livable again, but with added luxurious touches, ideal for today’s modern professional. However, there is still much debate throughout the city on what must be done in regard to solutions for people who require simpler housing options. The New York City Rent Guidelines Board (NYCRGB) is about to make another momentous decision that could affect more than a million renters throughout the city, as well as landlords and owners of rent stabilized housing. The following Jody Kriss Blog gives a brief synopsis of the history, and perhaps future, of NYC’s rent freeze.

Rents Were Frozen on Subsidized Housing One Year Ago

As a globally-recognized business hub and a major entryway into the country, NYC has always struggled to provide enough homes for its citizens. In the past five years alone, the population has boomed 4.6%, according to the NYC Department of City Planning, adding 375,300 more residents. By their estimates, the city has not seen this kind of growth since the roaring 20s. At the same time, too few new homes are being added, and many of the existing structures are falling into various stages of disrepair. People genuinely struggle to find any kind of housing at all, which naturally increases the cost of housing. Arguments about the actual benefits of rent subsidized housing aside, more than one million people are taking advantage of the city’s programs, and have concerns that their rents will increase some to keep up with demand and the costs to keep the older buildings livable. Last year, the NYCRGB decided to freeze these rents, so people renewing their leases would not see an increase.

Rents May Be Frozen for One More Year

There will be a total of five public testimony hearings, the first of which will occur on June 9 in Jamaica, Queens. Others will be held in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan. The final vote of the NYCRGB will be held on June 27,  and proposals include another freeze on stabilized rent, or up to a 2% increase on one-year leases, while two-year leases could see a 0.5% to 3.5%  increase. On the one hand, landlord advocates had been hoping for relief, and a 4% to 6% hike, while many of the tenant groups are vying for a freeze, and some even requesting a reduction. The board that will make the final decision consists of a team of nine, chosen by Mayor Bill de Blasio, and includes former United States magistrate judge Kathleen Roberts as the Chair.

Jody Kriss and East River Partners will remain largely unaffected, regardless of the board’s decision. Instead, the developer plans to focus on creating more homes overall, to help minimize New York City’s shortage and give people more options that suit their lifestyles. “We have a lot of great projects in the works,” Jody Kriss said in a statement. “East River Partners will continue revitalizing communities and helping to bring back the integrity of the city’s historic buildings.”