Public Advocate's Statement On The Rent Guidelines Board Vote

June 24th, 2021

Press Release

"Last night's unprecedented decision by the Rent Guidelines Board attempted to have it both ways, acknowledging the ongoing economic impact of the pandemic while still pushing an increase six months into leases. But it ignores the reality that rents were already unaffordable prior to the pandemic, and that while the city is reopening, that doesn't prevent struggling tenants from being shut out. The most affordable plan within the board's preliminary vote included a freeze on one year leases and a one percent increase on two year leases - I called for those levels to be reflected in the final vote.

"It's true that this economic crisis has hit almost everyone in our city, and that property owners - especially of smaller buildings - need to recover as well. At the same time, we have asked for creative solutions in the past that meet the needs of smaller, struggling and responsible landlords without allowing large corporations and bad actors to drive up profits at the expense of struggling tenants, and the board has rejected us - even as they approved this new and unusual six month strategy. I understand that this recovery, and the housing crisis that preceded it, require creative solutions, but as tenants face the end of the eviction moratorium, we need that creativity to extend to help them and all who are fighting to afford a city that is rapidly becoming unaffordable."

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