How to Testify Before the Rent Guidelines Board

How to Testify Before the Rent Guidelines Board

The Rent Guidelines Board will vote in the end of June to set how much landlords can raise rents on rent-stabilized apartments for leases beginning on or after Oct. 1. Before it votes, it will hold public hearings in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens to hear testimony from tenants and landlords about how potential rent increases will affect them.




Here are some points to make while testifying at the public hearings:

  • Begin by introducing yourself and giving personal details—what neighborhood you live in, how long you have lived in your apartment, how you make a living, if you have children. It is important to show the RGB that rent-stabilized tenants are a diverse group.
  • Talk about the economic hardships you’re facing. Do you live on a fixed income? Have you lost your job? Are you are supporting your children or other members of your household? Are you are working two or more jobs in order to make ends meet?
  • The RGB should consider the incredible hardship that any increase at all will cause for many low- and moderate-income tenants, whose incomes have not kept up with the cost of living—and especially with rising rents. 

Talking points for RGB Testimony

  • Say your name and the organization you are with Met Council on Housing
  • Say where you live and who owns your building
  • Say how long you have lived there
  • High Rent Burdens:Are you now paying more than 30% of your income towards rent? 
    • I am rent burdened like over half of NYers because my rent is _______ % of my income. This has affected me in the following ways:
    • If my rent up even one more percent, it would mean...

  • Choose which theme to talk about:
    • Predatory Equity:RSA show small landlords in their commercials. My building has been sold _____ (#) of times in the last 10 years. My landlord/management company owns ___________ (#) of  buildings.
    • RGB Increases are not the only means in which rent go up. Has your rent gone up because of late fees, Major Capital Improvements (MCIs), vacancy bonuses, and Individual Apartment Improvement Increases (IAIs)?
      In the last five years my rent has gone up________% , due to MCIs, IAIs, and ____________ fees.
    • Repairs: Landlords net operating income went up 10.8% last year, this money is not going back into my building. My neighbors and I have still not received much need repairs indluding (mention building wide and your apartment disrepairs):
  • Call to Action: Final engaging question or statement! Each of you as rent guidelines board members has the fate of working NYers in your hand, who are the real engine of NYC’s economy. Two percent is too much for NYC tenants! This is why I am asking you to vote for a RENT ROLLBACK!

Twitter: @RentJustice @Met_Council #2percent2much

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