In a narrow 5-4 vote at Cooper Union last night, the NYC Rent Guidelines Board approved big potential rent increases on the city's million rent-regulated apartments. Though the final vote isn't until June 27th, last night's vote set the range of rent hikes somewhere between 3 percent and 5.75 percent for one year leases. The board also approved a 6.5 to 9 percent hike on two-year leases, and a 1 percent heating fuel surcharge. This would be the largest increase since 2008. As always, there was outraged howling from rent-regulated tenants and politicians.
"Landlords are making big profits and then the tenants are being squeezed," one tenant told NY1. "It's as simple as that. They don't deserve diddly." Natasha Missick, an actress and writer who pays about $1,000 per month for a narrow railroad apartment in Harlem, tells NBC New York she'll have to pay an extra $45 to $75 a month. But landlords say their properties are costing them an extra 6 percent more over last year. The increase is largely attributed to rising heating fuel costs; NY1 reports that fuel costs have risen 23 percent. And President Joe Strasberg of the Rent Stabilization Association says, "They only recognize fossil fuels, which is oil... and ignored the fact that many buildings in the City of New York are heated by steam, electricity and natural gas. For that, they have not even recognized an increase to compensate owners of those costs."
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