"Last night I testified at the Rent Guidelines Board public hearing. Below I share my testimony:
I’m State Senator Robert Jackson, who represents Manhattan’s 31st Senate District, which will soon include parts of the Bronx. This district has the largest number of regulated rental units in New York State. With thousands of households still reeling from the economic stress of the pandemic, the proposed 2%-4% for a one-year contract and 4%-6% for a two-year contract is unacceptable. I express my firm opposition to the unreasonable rent increases proposed by the RGB.
With more than 220,000 pending eviction cases, with 7,000 additional cases reported each month, legal services providers for tenants cannot handle the overwhelming demand. The least the RGB can do to stop a massive wave of evictions is to vote no increases. NYC should protect tenants, not kick them out of their homes.
In 2021, a record number of New Yorkers faced homelessness amid policy failure to address the underlying causes of the housing crisis, which is directly related to overpricing high rents in our city, the most heights of the nation. Any hike in rents could leave nearly half a million homes with incomes below $30,000 at risk of becoming homeless, as they are already paying more than half of their rental incomes. Over the past 20 years, families with children made up between 70% and 80% of the people sleeping in hostels every night.
My office has received hundreds of calls from constituents who lost their jobs and depleted their savings so they could pay rent—but still fell short. All this for the fear that one misstep will lead them to becoming homeless. An increase in rents will hold the RGB responsible for eviction of families from their homes.
Policies displace tenants violate human right to housing. The RGB should focus on how to prevent sinhogarism, not accelerate the crisis. An increase of up to 6% as New Yorkers continue to try to rebuild their lives would be inhumane and irresponsible. I ask you to please reconsider the proposed rent increases.
Thank you." - NY State Senator Robert Jackson