Three Mayoral Candidates Want Rent Freeze

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At a Rent Guidelines Board hearing Thursday, three Democratic mayoral candidates spoke in favor of freezing rents for regulated apartments. Usually, candidates for office do not attend rent hearings. Those in favor were Christine Quinn, Bill de Blasio, and John Liu, The New York Times reported. The recommendations come at a time of quickly rising market rents and sales prices throughout the City, particularly in Brooklyn. Last year, the board approved increases of 2 percent to 4 percent. This year they are considering higher increases: 3.25 percent to 6.25 percent for a one-year lease and 5 percent to 9.5 percent for a two-year lease. They are also considering an additional increase for those who currently pay less than $1,000 a month. The ruling will not affect market rate rents, only those in rent stabilized or rent controlled apartments. Do you think a freeze would help make housing in Brooklyn more affordable?
Photo by Marie-Laure Even

20 Comment

  • Want to see the candidates turn into contortions? Ask if it is fair that 2-5 family homeowners have limits on the upward movement of their property taxes owed, but not on the rents they can charge.
    The goal of the property tax increase limit is to prevent people from being pushed out of their homes by taxes as prices rise relative to their incomes. But the homeowner still gets the windfall if they sell, and a windfall of rising rents as well.

    Moreover, because the deal passed in 1982, places that have come relatively more expensive since then, such as Brownstone Brooklyn, get a much better deal than places that were more expensive back in the day. Thus it is likely that John Liu pays more in property taxes than Bill DeBlasio, assuming they both own homes, even though DeBlasio’s home might be worth more. Each would be favored, relative to income earned, over a low income recent college grad or immigrant in a multiple dwelling, paying property taxes as part of their rent.

    Among the effects of this rule are locking empty nesters into place, in a city where only 1/3 of the housing units (and going down) have three or more bedrooms, vs. two thirds nationally. I benefit from the deal, but if we were ever to downsize to a condo, freeing up our house for a family, our monthy cost of housing could rise, not what you would want as retirement looms.

    Those who benefit most from the various deals on housing, in fact, are seniors. Thompson proposed even more breaks for seniors back in 2006.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Pandering for votes. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • I agree with the first two commentators. Now to your question: “Do you think a freeze would help make housing in Brooklyn more affordable?”

    Of course not. It will only directly benefit those in rent-stabilized units. And it will indirectly make market rate units MORE expensive. Econ 101, people. Econ 101.

    Please ask good questions.

  • East New York

    “Christine Quinn, Bill de Blasio, and John Liu”

    Talk about bad politicians. A choice among flotsam and jetsam.

  • minard

    Quinn is pretty much in the pocket of REBNY, she’s play-acting. DeBlasio on the other hand may actually mean it. He is probably the most socialist-leaning of the group and has a lot of traction in Brooklyn.

  • daveinbedstuy

    I assume there’s no chance for a 4th Bloomberg term.

    Not my problem any more. I’m no longer a NYS/NYC resident.

    Goodbye to high taxes

  • This would be good for people currently in rent regulated apartments at the expense of everyone else. The only real solution is to pass a law that requires all housing to be affordable for everybody.

  • minard

    this sort of ploy is very tricky for politicians. say they promise to “freeze” rents. Once elected they could then freeze rents for a year, lots of love that year from tenants but the following year the rents will go up again and then tenants will demand another freeze, and the results will be lots of hate from renters.

    If the rent freeze is too long they will really hurt the small owners and discourage upkeep and even encourage arson or walking away from the buildings. It is the third rail of NY politics.

  • Oh it’s an election year! What else is new?

  • If you wanted to freeze the rent. Please, freeze the energy,
    sewage and property tax rates, freeze the government employee raises. They all contributed the rent raise.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Why isn’t Jimmy McMillan running???

  • I still can’t get over the board approving increases during the height of the financial crisis

  • Havemeyer

    A “market rate” apartment in Clinton Hill that was 2,000 two years ago can now go for 3700. I can’t really blame the property owners, or the seemingly infinite amount of bright-eyed young urbanites happy to pay 4000/month in rent, but I wonder sometimes if these vast tracts of “luxury apartments” that aren’t even that nice are really going to stay this expensive.

  • San Francisco is currently experiencing the realities of these kinds of rent control policies – super high rents, low turnover in rent controlled apartments and low supply of apartments. Many landlords who live buildings with in-law apts or cottages in the back will simply pull that inventory off the market for good because they don’t want to deal with the disaster that is rent control in this city. That results in even lower supply and further exacerbates the problem. Having witnessed the realities in SF, I am no longer a fan of rent control. If the government wants to provide rent relief to a subset of citizens, it should be a need-based program and the cost shared by all taxpayers rather than by individual landlords.