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New York City Rent Board, Waiting on Albany, Postpones Vote on Increases

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June 23, 2015 by westsideneighborhoodalliance

By: Mireya Navarro

With state legislators still divided over changes to the law that governs rent-stabilized apartments, New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board is postponing its annual vote on new rent levels until next Monday.

The board was originally scheduled to vote on Wednesday, but it was uncertain whether it could make any decisions without a law being in effect.

“We thought it prudent to postpone briefly in the hope that issues in Albany will have been clarified,” said Rachel D. Godsil, the chairwoman of the board.

The law that governs rent increases for the city’s more than one million rent-stabilized apartments expired June 15. The State Senate and the State Assembly have extended the existing law while negotiations continue, but only until Tuesday. Among other issues, the Republican-led Senate and the Assembly, controlled by Democrats, have been at odds over when landlords should be allowed to convert vacant apartments to market-rate rentals.

The board’s vote this year will be the first in which all nine members have been appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat who in the past has called for temporary moratoriums on rent increases, citing the many New Yorkers struggling with the rising costs of housing and incomes that have not kept pace.

Last year, the board voted for historically low increases of 1 percent for one-year leases and 2.75 percent for leases of two years. This year, the vote is expected to stay within a range of a 0 percent to 2 percent increase for one-year leases, and between 0.5 percent and 3.5 percent for two-year leases.

The board meeting has been rescheduled for June 29 at 6 p.m. at the Great Hall at Cooper Union in Manhattan.

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