Friday, April 22, 2016

Why we need a Rent Rollback

Did you know: The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) is supposed to "make landlords whole" so they can operate their buildings.  The RGB is not supposed to ensure landlord profits

But since long before the 1990's (when detailed economic information became available), landlords have been awarded rent increases that far exceeded their expenses.  So last year, the NYC Rent Guidelines Board ordered a rent freeze for those taking 1-year lease renewals.  Even with that, RGB-ordered increases have led to a big gap between the total increases and what rents should be.  On April 21, 2016, tenant advocates testified (click on links for the testimony) for rent stabilized tenants 
  • Tom Waters of the Community Service Society, 
  • Barika Williams of the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD)
  • Jenny Laurie of Housing Court Answers, and 
  • Tim Collins, former RGB Exec. Dir., and partner, Collins, Dobkin & Miller
and for SRO tenants: 

"The board primarily considers landlords’ costs to determine what increases are justified, and doesn’t look at their overall incomes. In 2009, the RGB’s Income and Expenses (I&E) study found that owners’ net operating income had risen more than twice as fast as its Price Index of Operating Costs (PIOC, pronounced “pie-ock”). Tenants also argue that the PIOC exaggerates how much landlords’ costs are going up, as it estimates that figure based on the price of items such as fuel oil or light bulbs and not on what they actually spend. (Landlords claim it underestimates their costs). " 

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