By Philip Newman
Thousands of rent stabilized tenants in Queens face the highest rent increases since 2008 starting in the fall.
The Rent Guidelines Board voted 5-4 June 20 to allow rent increases of 4 percent for one-year leases and 7.75 percent on two-year leases.
The new rents apply to renewal leases as of Oct. 1.
There are about 1 million rent-stabilized apartments throughout New York City, including 144,000 in Queens.
The decision announced by the board brought jeers and booing at the conclusion of the meeting at Cooper Union on the Lower East Side in Manhattan.
The new increases were a far cry from last year, when the rents rose by 2 percent for one-year leases and 4 percent for two-year leases.
In fact, this year’s round of increases were the highest since 2008, when tenants got rent hikes of 4.5 percent and 8.5 percent.
Landlord advocates had cited higher utilities, sewer and water charges as well as real estate taxes.
Renters had demanded a rent freeze, saying wages had not kept up with rents.
The Rent Guidelines Board was criticized for holding only one public hearing on the rent hikes prior to announcing its decision. The board said it had decided not to hold a meeting in the outerboroughs as it had in the past because attendance had been low.
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at email@example.com or phone at 718-260-4536.