On Friday, New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board voted to increase rent for 1.04 million rent-stabilized apartments by 3.8 percent for 2019 and 3.9 percent for 2020, slightly higher than a 3.8 percent hike suggested by a two-thirds majority of the board’s members.

The proposed rent increases will add $38 to the monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in the Bronx and $87 to the rent in Manhattan, making monthly rent payments for rent-stabilized apartments in the Bronx climb to $1,446 and the rent in Manhattan to $2,151. For the rest of the city, meanwhile, the cost of an apartment will go up from $1,113 to $1,192 for two-bedroom apartments, from $965 to $1095 for one-bedroom apartments, and from $715 to $760 for small studios.

The increase in rent levels means that landlords have a renewed incentive to sell rent-stabilized properties, which could do damage to the city’s affordable housing and market-rate housing supply. A recent report by the CitiCenter shows that 16,000 rent-stabilized apartments in New York City are scheduled to expire in the next two years and will face rental increases of 6.2 percent.

If the new rules are followed, landlords will be eligible to raise rents by as much as 15 percent, the highest level they’ve been allowed to charge tenants since 2008. Not surprisingly, the new plans have led to angry protests outside city halls and petitions asking elected officials to stop the planned rent hikes.

But the chief executive of the Rent Stabilization Association, an industry trade group, shrugged off concerns that the impending increase in rent would cause more out-of-pocket costs for tenants. “So there’s going to be less of an impact in the long term than if the whole formula had not changed,” Wayne Wagner told the New York Times. “There’s always going to be more turnover as we move along. So the rents are going to stay the same or even come down, I think, with a more responsive assessment of the rental market.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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