The New York City Rent Guidelines Board on Thursday approved a rent freeze in a preliminary vote as renters and landlords continue to grapple with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The board also rejected a rent reduction that was proposed by tenant representations and rejected a rent increase proposed by groups who represents landlords. The final vote is expected to take place in June.
Rent freeze would apply to nearly 1 million rent-regulated apartments across New York City.
The board also said there would be a 1 percent increase in rent for two-year leases but it would only apply in the second year. Any changes would apply to leases signed after Sept. 30 but a final vote is still needed.
Following the vote, the Rent Stabilization Association and the Community Housing Improvement Program, both representing owners, accused the RGB of "playing politics."
"With tonight’s preliminary vote, the Rent Guidelines Board demonstrated that it is playing politics and not interested in using real data and facts to make informed decisions. Small property owners throughout this City are facing increasing costs to run their buildings and a rent freeze is ultimately going to delay the City’s recovery," the groups said in a statement.
Meanwhile, New York’s moratorium on outbreak-related housing evictions was extended Thursday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo for two more months.
The governor in March had issued a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions that lasted through June, but he said he wanted to reduce the anxiety of families struggling through the economic shutdown. It is now extended until Aug. 20.
The executive order will also ban late fees for missed payments and allow renters to apply their security deposit to a payment, though they’d have to pay it back over time.