The city’s multifamily building owners are being urged to make their voices heard at the upcoming Rent Guidelines Board.
Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) – a housing policy advocacy organization representing more than 3,500 owners and 400,000 units of housing throughout the five boroughs — claims the mayoral-appointed board is set to vote on a predetermined rent freeze.
And it is urging its members and other owners of residential property to testify at the Board’s upcoming hearings in order to raise awareness of the escalating costs in operating multifamily properties.
The call comes on the heels of a proposed 2.1 percent increase on the city’s water and sewer rates— which was approved on May 27 by the New York City Water Board before a judge issued a restraining order to stop the hike — and a 32 to 40 percent tax burden.
“Our members know that the real expenses which accompany the operation and maintenance of multi-family buildings have continued to skyrocket over the past few years,” said Matthew Engel, president of CHIP.
“Clearly, the largest single expense shouldered by New York City building owners is taxes, with more than 40 percent of a building’s operating costs going right into the City’s treasury.”
CHIP has disputed the data used by the RGB to reach its preliminary vote back in May. Compounded with a slew of city regulations, and administrative costs levied on the owners, the organization says the full costs of operating a multi-family building have not been properly captured.
“We urge the City’s Rent Guideline Board to properly and accurately evaluate the source of its information and ensure that any proposed increases in rent take into full account not only the previous years’ expense growth, but also the compounded financial burdens from years of rent increases insufficient to meet escalating costse,” said Patrick Siconolfi, executive director of CHIP.
The Rent Guidelines Board has proposed a guideline range of zero to two percent for a one year lease and for 0.5 to 3.5 percent for a two year lease — the same proposed numbers as last year when rents were actually frozen for those with a one year lease.