Quinn Speaks Out Against Rent Hikes

Unemployment's up, why not rents?

With the economy in shambles New Yorkers are more than a little anxious about the prospect of their rents rising. At a hearing on Wednesday, the Rent Guidelines Board got an earful ahead of their annual vote next week.

"It's time for the rubber stamp [Rent Guidelines Board] to end its longstanding practice of catering to landlords," said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn during her prepared testimony, coming down firmly on the side of tenants.

Angry protesters gathered outside the hearing, some bearing signs that read, "Want To Lose Your Apartment? Vote For Bloomberg."

But landlords contend they're feeling the squeeze from the economy as well.

"If people want a rent freeze, let's have a freeze on real estate taxes and water and sewer taxes, plumbing increases and legal increases," landlord Jerry Silber suggested to The New York Daily News

With the city's Rent Guidelines Board holds a final vote on rent guidelines next Tuesday, about a million rent-regulated tenants in New York City could find themselves writing bigger rent checks.

The board has already adopted preliminary guidelines, that could send rents could up 2 percent to 4.5 percent for one-year renewals. They could rise 4 percent to 7.5 percent for two-year renewals that start on or after Oct. 1.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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