Rent Guidelines Board Mulls Hikes as Tenants Await Refunds

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    The Rent Guidelines Board votes tonight on how much to raise the rent.

    The Rent Guidelines Board votes tonight on how much to jack up rent for rent-stabilized apartments -- a meeting that usually erupts in a loud fight as tenant advocates battle to keep rent increases as low as possible.

    Last year, housing advocates pushed for a rent freeze. They want the same thing this year because of the continued economic troubles and high unemployment rates.

    In May, the Rent Guidelines Board, which regulates rent adjustments for city apartments, lofts and hotel apartments, voted to consider rent hikes of between 2 percent and 4 percent for one-year leases, and 4 percent to 6 percent for two-year leases.

    Tonight, the board meets for their final vote on the matter.

    Meanwhile, nearly 300,000 tenants of rent-regulated apartments are now owed refunds. On Tuesday, a court ruled the city illegally hiked rents for tenants who lived in their rent-regulated apartments for more than six years and paid less than $1,000 a month by forcing them to pay a supplemental increase of between $45 and $85.

    The Rent Guidelines Board, however, is expected to appeal that ruling.