Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday declined to rule out support for a controversial recommendation that the Big Apple’s rent regulator approve significant hikes — up to 9% over two years — for stabilized apartments.
“We don’t want to escalate the eviction process, but we also need to look at small landlords,” Adams told an independent news conference in Manhattan. “You know, if you’re a mom and your pop that owns a 10 family unit, and you have, you know, your electric bills are going up, your water bills are going up, that’s your only source of income .”
Adams spoke a week after the Rent Guidelines Board received a staff report calculating that rents for stabilized buildings should increase by 4.3% to 9% for two-year leases so landlords can maintain their margins. beneficiaries and their current reparations.
One-year leases for the roughly 1 million rent-stabilized apartments in the five boroughs – around a third of the city’s entire housing stock – could jump 2.7% to 4.5%.
“We have to be fair here,” Adams added, “allowing tenants to be able to stay on their living arrangements, but we have to take care of these small family landlords.”
The rental commission has until June to make its final decision. If the proposed increases are approved, it would be the biggest rent increase for stabilized apartments since at least 2013.
Rent stabilization generally applies to buildings with more than five units built before 1974, so many properties owned by small landlords are exempt from the regulation.
The nine members of the rental commission are appointed by the mayor. So far, Adams has named three of the current members.
The other six are remnants of former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s tenure, during which rents were frozen three times and hikes remained at low numbers, generating protests from landlords who claimed that they were in a hurry.
Housing advocates and the City Council quickly tore into the suggested hikes after they were launched last week, with Speaker Adrienne Adams (D-Queens) calling the proposal “unreasonable.”
“With the expiration of the moratorium on evictions and other protections, it is unconscionable to offer rent increases of up to 9% for tenants, which would only exacerbate the housing and homelessness crises to which our city faces,” she said in a statement.