1999-05-22 / Columnists

Tenants: Protect Your Rights

On Thursday, May 13 the Rent Guidelines Board met to vote on
"proposed" rent increases. No testimony was permitted at the meeting.
Despite the fact that the Price Index of Operating costs in New
York is .03 per cent this year (which amounts to 3/100 of one percentage
point or statistically zero) the Rent Guidelines Board in New York City at its May 13 meeting voted for a "proposed" rent increase of 2 percent and 4 percent on one and two year leases. By contrast the Westchester Rent guidelines board last year voted for a zero rent hike for one year leases and a 1.5 percent increase for two year leases. On Thursday, June 22, 1999, the Rent Guidelines Board will hold a public hearing from 11:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Cooper Union - Great Hall, 7 East 7 street basement ( corner of Third avenue) in Manhattan.

Tenants who would like to speak can call the Rent Guidelines Board and ask for speaking time. Those who do not wish to speak are welcome to attend the meeting and show their support for the tenants. The final voting meeting of the NYC Rent Guidelines Board will be held on June 24, 1999, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Cooper Union - Great Hall,
7 East 7 street basement (corner of Third avenue). At this meeting the
Rent Guidelines Board will vote on final rent adjustments. Make an effort to be there and let them know where you stand. Tuesday, May 18, 1999, was Tenant Lobby Day in Albany. Tenants from across New York State came to the Capital to demand that our legislators:

Stop MCI rent increases. Since credit is easy to get at this time,
landlords are increasing their major capital improvement work and rents are going up.

Curtail Mitchell-Lama Buyouts. Stop the loss of thousands of
apartments in affordable Mitchell Lama buildings.

Restore funds to eviction prevention strategies. Tenants are asking
legislators to put money back into eviction prevention program such as the Citywide Task Force on Housing Court.

Next year rent control and rent stabilization laws will expire on
May 31, 2000. It is important that these laws remain in effect.

We must work together to win renewal of these laws without any
weakening amendments.


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