Rent freeze a win for tenants

Rent freeze a win for tenants
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Councilman Jumaane Williams have welcomed the decision by the rent control board to freeze for one year rent increases, saying it’s a win for tenants.

“With today’s rent freeze, common sense prevailed at the Rent Guidelines Board, and tenants made history,” said Adams on Monday after the board voted. “As a small property owner and landlord, I have long understood that it is possible to make a rent freeze work, because I have managed to provide it for years to the tenants in my own building.

“This is the right thing to do for our tenant population that is struggling to make it from paycheck to paycheck, spending an inordinate amount of their earnings on having a safe place to call home,” he added.

“Solving our affordable housing crisis is not an easy task, and it will require hard choices,” Adams continued. “However, the needs of many must always outweigh the greed of a few. At a time where leaders in Albany have failed to stand up for the tenants that make this city’s greatness possible, it is more important than ever that leaders in New York City have stood up for them.”

The Rent Guidelines Board also for a two percent increase on two-year lease renewals.

Williams, deputy leader and chair of the City Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee, said he was overjoyed by the decision.

“Today is a win for the tenants of New York. As Chair of the Council’s Housing and Buildings Committee, I am thrilled that the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) has for the first time in its history voted to freeze rent for 1.2 million rent stabilized tenants,” said Williams, who represents the 45th Council District in Brooklyn.

“Tonight’s vote sends a clear message that the City of New York is determined to provide relief for its residents, unlike Gov. Cuomo and Albany who recently enacted detrimental rent laws that could eliminate about 90,000 affordable housing units due to deregulation over the next four years – units that do not just provide an affordable price point for tenants but offer protections against arbitrary evictions as well,” he added.

“Separately, due to Albany’s inability to close unresolved loopholes with preferential rent, approximately 27 percent of tenants could see their rent go up by thousands of dollars, regardless of tonight’s RGB decision and without advance notice,” warned Williams, however.

“Even though Gov. Cuomo completely and thoroughly let New York City tenants down, we’ve found solace tonight from one of the most unlikely of places: the RGB,” he continued. “Throughout the RGB’s history, the Board has always asked what the annual increase should be, not whether an increase was needed at all. This year was different, so for that I thank them.

“As we move forward, I will continue to work with advocates and elected officials to solve our affordable housing crisis so that New York City can become a place for all to thrive,” Williams said.