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Fix it: RSA’s message to the Rent Guidelines Board

Members of the city’s Rent Stabilization Association (RSA) are set to lobby the de Blasio-appointed Rent Guidelines Board to raise rents for over one million city residents.

When the RGB meets tomorrow morning (Thursday) Joe Strasburg, president of the RSA said, “Our position will be that they need to recognize and remedy what happened last year. Owners received one percent when cost well exceeded it.”

The annual round of RGB talks pits tenants against landlords.
The annual round of RGB talks pits tenants against landlords. Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel

The RSA is an organization that represents 25,000 landlords in NYC. Last year, the group ran 700 ads on radio and television in a bid to prevent a rent freeze promised by Mayor de Blasio during his campaign for office.

Holdover Bloomberg RBG board members voted against it but did institute the lowest rent increases in the 46-year history of RGB.

Strasburg said that the RGB should look at previous years and not just one year to get the full picture.


“Off years like this (past) year, costs were down, but the number one driving factor was fuel oil, but we all know fuel oil is subject to fluctuation,” he said. “Everything else went up. Our position will be to that you can’t just take a snapshot of one year and determine something, you need to look at previous years when the numbers were woefully too low.”

But the determining factor of whether or not there will be a rent freeze, which would be the first in the history of the RGB, will come down to politics, said Strasburg.

“The 800-pound elephant is not in the room as of yet,” he said, referring to Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The mayor, just as he did last year, right before the final vote, expressed his viewpoint right before the vote, and he has now appointed all nine members of the board.

“This administration has not hidden the fact that they appointed all these members and they will indicate very clearly that regardless of what the numbers are objective they will dictate what the final number should be.”

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