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Many Western Queens Residents Likely to Face Rent Hike

 

June 12, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge

Two major rent decisions this month could impact thousands of residents across Western Queens.

The City’s Rent Guidelines Board has proposed rent increases of up to two percent for one-year lease renewals and 0.5 to 3.5 percent for two-year renewals.

Last year, the RGB adopted a record low increase of one percent for one-year renewals.

Potential rent hikes could impact a huge swath of New York City renters; about half of apartments Citywide are stabilized. Here in Western Queens, apartments in nearly 2,700 buildings are rent stabilized and would be subject these new rules, according to RGB data.

Astoria and Long Island City hold the bulk of these buildings, with nearly 1,200 each. Sunnyside and Jackson Heights have about 170 and 200, respectively.

RGB is slated to vote on the new rules on June 24; public hearings have been scheduled throughout the City in anticipation of the vote.

The next hearing will take place Monday at Queens Borough Hall, located at 120-55 Queens Boulevard in room 200, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. There will be an opportunity for public testimony, according to the RGBNY website.

Complicating the issue is the looming expiration date for New York State’s rent laws, which also occurs on Monday. Rent laws must be renewed or extended before RGB can vote on its proposed rules.

Rent laws were last up for expiration in 2011. This year, various advocacy groups and elected officials have seized the opportunity to push for stronger rent regulations, such as modifying the way building improvement costs are passed on to tenants, or ending landlords’ ability to spike an apartment’s rent when it becomes empty.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has recently voiced his support for some of these measures, including in a Daily News op-ed. However, he has met skepticism from groups such as the Alliance for Tenant Power, who said too few changes were made under his watch in 2011.

If Albany allows rent laws to expire on June 15, the City’s rent-stabilized apartments would revert to market rate, a situation Cuomo has said would lead to “mayhem” and insisted he would work to prevent.

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34 Comments

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SuperWittySmitty

Less than 37% of NYers voted in the last election; maybe that’s the problem. So much apathy is a reason why programs like this never get overhauled.

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Lucky Lu

I wish this law would get major overhaul. There are precious few rent stabilized apartments available nowadays, as once people get into them, they hold on to them for dear life. These people reside in the rent stabilized units for decades, long after their income has gone up all the while using their windfall to build wealth while lower income people are unable to secure such a great deal. I personally know of people who have been residing in rent stabilized units for 20+ years and who have managed to purchase property (in one instances in the same neighborhood) – property in which they charge market rate rents! They keep their rent stabilized unit as their primary residence, and yet make bank charging poorer families, younger people and newcomers market rates. How is this fair??? The law only requires that the residents of stabilized units make under $175 in income, but it does not take into account their other assets. This really seems screwed up.

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rent

How do you document real life
When real life’s getting more like fiction each day?
Headlines, bread-lines blow my mind
And now this deadline, eviction or pay rent

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fidel castro

I am writing from shores of CUBa to say i fully support your plan to control rents!! an furthrmore, you hipsters walking around american streets with fidel beards, i fully support this also.

I select all pictures of soup, what is this?? american style security?

Long live CUBA and beards!
your truly,
F

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anonymous

i wouldn’t mind the higher rent if the buildings/apartments were in much better condition.

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ak_nyc

It’s honestly not possible to keep a building / apartment in great condition if the rents do not support being able to put away money for improvements.

To give you an example, just to cover the overhead expenses of a building (taxes, heat, electric, water & sewer, building insurance, trash removal, snow in the winter, minimal/basic upkeep), it costs at least $600/month per unit.

If the owner of the building purchased the place with a mortgage, that is likely going to cost at least another $700/month per unit. You are already at $1200/month per unit and the owner has just broken even.

As an potential investor, if you’ve saved up some money and are deciding if you should put it into the market (totally passive investment that will yield around 8% per annum) or into real estate (not totally passive, can be a world of headaches if you end up with a bad tenant, etc.), you will look to make a decent premium above what you could get by investing in a totally passive investment like equities and bonds.

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Anonymous Visitor

Ak_nyc………..I totally agree with you. What people on this post DO NOT understand is that Residential Rentals are a BUSINESS just like any other. I don’t understand why they feel landlords should give them shelter at a loss or that a landlord is not entitled to make a profit on their HARD work. Why is it OK for Doctors to make money on sickness and misery or pharmacies OK to make money on dispensing them a life saving drug?? But god forbid a landlord makes a return on his investment and provides them with a decent place to live. It is just so one sided and I blame it on rent stabilization which gives them the sense of entitlement!! This whole world would be a better place place if everyone paid their own way and everyone lived in a place they could afford and lived to their means. Not everyone can afford to live so close to Manhattan and not everyone is entitled to do so

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jake

Hard work? Hardly. They sit and collect the checks while looking for ways to not spend it on the building. .

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Anonymous Visitor

You clearly don’t own anything and probably never will. Many have denied themselves luxuries for years to save up a down payment to purchase a property. They they have the constant upkeep and cost of utilities. If your living situation is so bad and you were paying market rent you would move! the fact that you stay and just complain about your greedy landlord is proof that you are part of the rent stabilized problem!

ak_nyc

Man what a misleading and clickbait title!
First off, this issue affects all rent controlled and stabilized buildings throughout the City. There is nothing going on that would affect Western Queens specifically or uniquely.

Second, as title as simple as “Rent increases proposed of up to two percent for one-year lease renewals and up to 3.5 percent for two-year renewals” would have sufficed.

Those increases are actually very MODEST increases. Costs go up every year. Homeowners have to deal with it. Co-op and condo boards have to deal with it. Landlords providing housing to others (free market or under the City’s rent guidelines) have to deal with it.

If you are senior living on a modest fixed income in a rent stabilized or rent controlled apartment, you should apply for SCRIE http://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/benefits/tenants-scrie.page

Anyone else complaining about these proposed modest increases really need to get a grip.

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jake

Get a grip? Getting my landlord to do something about the building is like pulling teeth. He’s making money hand over fist and not maintaining the building as it should. My apartment hasn’t been painted in over 3 years, and only when the building was burglarized did he install cameras, but did nothing about the locks or fixing the front or side doors. He cleans the hallways maybe once every three months, and has no super in the building.

You get a grip. You make is sound like all buildings are perfect and the landlords are the poor ones having to pay taxes. Everything goes up, yes, but landlords make it a point to increase profits by not maintaining or doing anything with those increases.

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Anonymous visitor

I don’t understand why you don’t move JAKE?? if things are so terrible in your building you could surely find a better living situation in Sunnyside, couldn’t you. Only difference is you would have to pay market rent!! I don’t blame your landlord for only doing the bare minimum, if you are paying the bare minimum.

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anthony Blackwood

Why don’t all you moaners grow a set and purchase a property of your own instead of always complaining about the landlord.You sounds like a bunch of liberal fools waiting for the government to intervene and supplement your miserable existence. And for once try contributing to society instead of always taking

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Anonymous Visitor

Let the law expire and let the market correct itself. It has been controlled long enough

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David

Actually, Larry, for the most part that is true. You do realize that the wealth generated in the US is from the private sector, right? If you are so fond of price controls, take a look at the dynamic economy of the USSR.

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O'Malley

You are assuming a perfectly competitive market, and that is economic theory, but not reality. We need regulations and controls to keep the market in check.

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the undertaker, literally

ive been a board member of my coop for 8 years, every year everything goes up, EVERYTHING!!!! water, insurance, taxes, fuel (if youre still on oil) especially is killing financial reserves just to name a few. If you’re in a coop look at the financials you get every year, no one is immune to rising costs.

If you dont understand this basic financial fact that costs generally go one way, UP, good luck making it thru life.

Pay up just like everyone else.

BTW, if youre buying or renting in a coop building you are interviewed by the board and if the board doesnt feel you have strong financials you can be rejected.

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Anonymous Visitor

You are 100% Correct undertaker. Those who feel they have a special right to have prices frozen in time cannot make it thru life without government intervention. expenses go up every year and everyone should be able to pay that or make the decision to move to a place they CAN afford. No one has a right to live 10 minutes from Manhattan if they can not afford to pay for it!! There are places for people who can’t afford that luxury. There are plenty of places in the rockaways, staten island or the bronx that they can afford and they should move there. It really doesn’t matter how long you have lived in a particular place, that in itself should not give you a right to stay there forever for less than everyone else.

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Nicole

The rent is already high. If It gets higher i will never be able to move out. They should lower the rent in my opinion.

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Sunnysider

I wish we could interview the people who live in our neighborhood and decide if they are worthy residents or not. Just because rents are high, that doesn’t mean everyone who can afford to pay the rent are equally educated, considerate and well mannered people. I guess I’d have to move to a gated community for that kind of living standards, especially with landlords who buy places or construct buildings and then just stuff them with random people as long as they can pay the rent…

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Bridget Riley

Are you saying you think you are better than the people you find yourself living with? Are you kidding? You want veto power over your neighbors? I find it hard to believe you said that out loud. For shame.

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anonapotamous

all the buildings here are co-ops. newcomers are already being interviewed by your neighbors. you want personal veto power or something? get a grip.

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anonapotamous

come to think of it, gated communities are usually just about income requirements. they don’t interview you before you buy, as long as you have the money you’re in. co-ops already afford greater protection than any other method of ownership. if that’s still not enough for you the problem is with you.

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Anonymous Visitor

Dear Sunnysider every house, apartment and condo in this country is filled with random people. That is what makes this country great. What a horrible world it would be if YOU were the one to decide who was worthy enough to live next door to you.
Even co-ops though they have a long approval process still do not have a test for considerate and well mannered or to deem if they are worthy of Sunnysiders approval!

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A.Bundy

this is NYShitty. you wont find any considerate and well mannered people…or clean air, or decent transportation…there’s nothing good here! there’s only one good thing in this city, and that’s making money. how much luck you have and how hard you step on someone else will depend on how much you make.

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angela

he is hanging out in long island city or trying to come up with another money making scheme that is for sure —

Reply
ZinSu

I have emailed him twice and tweeted at him twice about the SBJSA. No reply. Glad the SP was able to pin him down, sort of.

Reply

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