De Blasio Backs Rent Freeze for One Million NYC Apartments

June 23, 2014 2:13 pm Last Updated: June 23, 2014 2:18 pm

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio called on the Rent Guidelines Board Monday to vote for a freeze on one-year rent increases for rent-stabilized apartments.

The board’s ruling affects some 1-million rent-stabilized apartments in New York City. The board has never authorized a rent freeze.

“It’s quite striking that we had a pattern in recent years of tenants beings charged substantial increases, while the actual costs to landlords did not increase anywhere near the same amount,” de Blasio said.

The mayor and his office did not explicitly support a freeze on several occasions after the board’s first hearing in March. He did speak before the board in support of the freeze when he was the city’s public advocate last year.

De Blasio had the board research summarized to him on Monday morning, ahead of the 6 p.m. vote. The mayor said that the data shows a “a pattern of unfairness in recent years.”

“We need a course correction,” de Blasio said. “A one time action to clearly rectify the mistakes of the past.”

The board is appointed by the mayor, but de Blasio could only appoint five of the nine members, including the chair, before the vote. The remaining four members were appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg

De Blasio’s is the latest and most potent addition to the momentum behind the call for a rent freeze. Twenty two members of the City Council also support a freeze and have sent a letter to the board in that regard.

“We believe that this year, striking a fair balance means voting for a rent freeze,” the letter states.