Statement on Rent Guidelines Board’s Preliminary Vote to Raise Rents on Low-income Tenants

Adriene Holder, Attorney-In-Charge of the Civil Practice at The Legal Aid Society and former tenant member of the New York City Rent Guidelines Board, released the following statement tonight responding to the Rent Guidelines Board preliminary vote:

"While we are in the midst of an affordable housing shortage and burgeoning homelessness crisis, it is mystifying that the Board voted to raise rents on the poorest residents for a third consecutive year. We cannot find any justification for this increase, especially in light of the Board’s own data showing that landlords’ profits have increased every year for 13 years in a row, while tenants continue to struggle each month towards paying their rents.

The Rent Guidelines Board’s stated goal is to protect ‘public health, safety, and welfare…and to prevent exactions of unjust, unreasonable, and oppressive rents and rental agreements.’ Yet, public health, safety and welfare are put in jeopardy when rents on some of our city’s most vulnerable continues to rise year after year.

We hope that the Board hears from the many New Yorkers who are facing homelessness and votes for a rent freeze, or at the very least, the smallest allowable increase come June.”