NEW YORK CITY: Housing Advocates Issue Call For Rent Freeze
New York City's Rent Guidelines Board will vote today on how much to allow rents to increase for the city's one million rent-stabilized apartments. Advocates for the poor are calling for a rent freeze.
The city’s escalating rents are eating away at as much as one-half of low-income New Yorkers’ paychecks, a new study has found. Low-income tenants now fork over a whopping 49% of their pay to landlords, up from 45% six years ago, according to advocacy group Community Service Society. Poor city residents are suffering the most: after they’ve paid their rent bills, they have a measly $4.40 per household member, per day, left over to pay for food, transportation and other essentials, the survey said. “Rents have continued to escalate in good times and bad while employment and incomes have been falling off since 2008,” said Victor Bach, senior housing analyst at the Community Service Society.Lobbyists for the city's landlords are opposing any freeze, saying that rising costs are beyond their control. Rent stabilization currently applies to units built before 1974 with rents under $2500/month. Very few New Yorkers currently enjoy rent control, which only applies to tenants who have been in their units since before 1971.