City Hall, NY – Ahead of the Rent Guidelines Board vote on proposed rent increases to the city’s nearly one million rent-stabilized units, New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams sent the Board a letter calling on them to recognize the affordable housing and homelessness crises the city is facing. New York City’s rent-stabilized units account for almost half of the city’s rental apartments, making it a crucial piece of the city’s affordable housing stock.

The Rent Guidelines Board’s Income and Affordability study showed that a majority of tenants in rent-stabilized units are rent burdened, underscoring the existing difficulty in affording their homes and covering basic needs. Over the past year, New York City has seen record growth in its shelter population and increased evictions, fueled by economic insecurity and housing unaffordability while an expanded number of people seeking asylum have arrived in need of shelter.

The full letter can be found here.

An excerpt from Speaker Adams’ letter states:

“I am deeply concerned that the proposed rent increases by the Rent Guidelines Board threaten the stability of New York City tenants, who already face immense economic pressures in an increasingly unaffordable city. While the Board ultimately did not propose to increase rents up to the previously considered 16 percent, its proposal for increases of up to 7% still presents major problems. I urge the Board to acknowledge, through its decision at the upcoming June 21 vote, that New York City is facing a housing affordability crisis and limit rent increases.

“If we continue down the same path as last year, people will be further cost-burdened and housing affordability will be pushed farther into the distance. The Board must consider that every increase it advances to the cost of housing has the potential to push more families onto public assistance and into homelessness at a time when the City is already experiencing a crisis.”