[COMM-ORG] Metropolitan Council on Housing update

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Thu Jul 7 08:48:08 CDT 2011

 From: Metropolitan Council on Housing <active at metcouncil.net>


Bloomberg's Rent Guidelines Board

Votes In High Rent Increases

Rent-Stabilized Tenants Face 3.75% Hike For 1-Year Renewals, 7.25% Hike
For 2-Year

The New York City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) voted to impose rent
increases in
rent-stabilized apartments of 3.75% for one-year renewals and 7.25% for
 renewals. These guidelines will affect leases coming up for renewal
between October
1, 2011, and September 30, 2012. The board voted for the increases amid
that landlord costs rose only 0.1% last year (yes, one tenth of one
percent), whereas
their net operating incomes (their profit pool) rose by 5.8%, with the
average landlord
of a rent-stabilized building now pocketing 40% of your rent money after
for expenses. But the RGB's members are picked by billionaire mayor
Michael Bloomberg
- were you expecting facts or fairness get in the way of higher profits
for landlords?

The guideline that ultimately passed was proposed by RGB chairman
Jonathan Kimmel,
and got the support of all five public members, with one of the landlord
voting "No" only after it became apparent that the guideline would pass;
the two
 tenant representatives rejected the proposed increases as too high. The
representatives made numerous proposals for more modest rent increases,
ones that would prohibit landlords from raising rents if they had not
serious violations in their buildings within the time permitted under
the law.

While these increases are unjustifiably high, at this year's preliminary
vote the
board called for a range of increases as high as 10% for two-year lease
Your voice does count, and it's clear that tenant participation is vital
to keeping
an out-of-control RGB in check. We give our thanks to the hundreds of
tenants who
testified at the public hearings and who showed up to make their protest
 the final vote one of the more spirited in recent years.

Reform The RGB

Met Council on Housing's efforts are aimed at reforming the
rent-regulation system,
including the structure of the RGB, a system originally designed by
landlords to
 favor landlords - particularly during the administrations of mayors who
are unabashed
in their allegiance to landlord profits over the needs of renters.

Rent Control Needs Reform, Too!

Legislative reforms are also desperately needed for our rent-control
system. If
you think a 3.75% rent increases is high, imagine facing a 7.5% rent
increase every
single year. Rent-controlled tenants are subject to the punitive Maximum
Base Rent
System, which for most means an automatic 7.5% rent increase every year
- in many
cases for apartments that are already quite expensive.

For Many, There's Nothing

For hundreds of thousands of tenants in market-rate apartments, there
are no maximum
rent increases. Those tenants don't even have the right to renew their
leases. We
must keep up the fight to strengthen our rent laws so that they protect
all tenants.

Are You with Us in the Fight?

To join as a member and support the work of the Metropolitan Council on
 download our membership form
Our basic membership rates begin at a low $25 per year, and they provide
the support
we need to carry on the  fight to strengthen our rent-protection laws,
as well as
to assist and  organize New York City tenants.

Housing Notebook

Voice of the Tenant Movement

Join Housing Notebook host Scott Sommer for an Independence Day musical
on Monday, July 4th, at 8 p.m. The call-in number is 212-209-2900.

Housing Notebook, a production of the Metropolitan Council on Housing,
airs Mondays on WBAI, 99.5 FM, from 8 to 9 PM in the New York
metropolitan area,
 and on the Internet at www.wbai.org
Programs are archived for 90 days at www.archive.wbai.org

Met Council on Housing In The News
Raising the roof with rent hikes

New York Post: Met Council on Housing's executive director, Mario
Mazzoni, called
the Rent Guidelines Board's proceedings something of a farce. "They
throw out an
 absurd number [in the preliminary determination] so that they can back
away from
it and say 'Look, we compromised.' What we want isn't even on the table.
What we
 really want is a different Rent Guidelines Board or the abolition of an


Join the Metropolitan Council on Housing today and get involved in the
fight for
 decent, affordable housing!
Our members are the heart and soul of our work - leading our campaigns,
and providing nearly all of our financial support! We depend on the
efforts, and
 the membership dues, of people like you, for everything that we do.
To become a member and learn about the important work of Met Council on
 go to: metcouncil.net/join.htm
Members receive a free subscription to our monthly publication,


Call Met Council on Housing's tenants' rights telephone hotline at
between the hours of 1:30 and 5:00 PM on Mondays, Wednesdays, and
Fridays, for brief
answers to questions about your rights as a tenant, help in organizing a
association in your building, or referrals.


Met Council on Housing's free clinic offers tenants assistance with
Note: Our clinic will be closed during the month of August. July will be
your last
opportunity to get help until after Labor Day!
We meet at the offices of the Cooper Square Committee, located at 61
East 4th Street
in Manhattan, every
Tuesday at 6:30pm. Please arrive by 6:30 in order to be served.
By subway: 6 to Astor Place; F to 2nd Avenue; or N/R to 8th Street.
Please bring all paperwork associated with your case.

Join Our Mailing List

In Solidarity,
Metropolitan Council on Housing

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