Posted by Leonard Steinberg on June 30th, 2015

The City Rent Guidelines Board ordered a freeze on rent hikes for rent stabilized apartments for the first time in history. It froze rents for 1-year leases and capped increases on 2-year leases at 2%.  Real estate taxes are however rising around 13% and water-rates are rising around 3%. Surely a freeze on those costs to building owners would be equally fair?

It is true that there are many people who need and deserve assistance when it comes to  high rents: unfortunately, how these rent breaks are allotted and administered is absurd. Who gets to choose who is eligible for this? Are those receiving this break being audited to confirm they actually continue to qualify for this private-sector-funded break? Why is this cost imposed on the private sector when surely welfare is the responsibility of all tax-payers? Who is abusing this system and are they being prosecuted?

I know of people living in rent-controlled and rent-stabilized apartments who could EASILY afford a market-rate apartment: they are depriving someone truly worthy of this subsidy and should be forced out of their apartments and pay back all the rent breaks they stole.

This entire system is in dire need of a clean-up!