Housing Should Be More Affordable: Rent Stabilization in NYC

Cooperberg Rittmaster Rabbinical Intern Adam Graubart recently led a class at CBST about rent stabilization in New York City.

Nearly 50% of New York City’s apartments should be rent-stabilized, CRRI Adam shared with us. The class took a deep dive into New York’s rent stabilization system, featuring tenant activists. Adam also guided CBST community members through the ins and outs of how to testify before New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board to protect rent stabilization.

This June, CRRI Adam testified before the Rent Guidelines Board, along with CBST member Kevin F.

“I testify today because Jewish tradition charges me to protect poor, working class, and middle class New Yorkers in the midst of a housing crisis,” CRRI Adam testified. “A rent rollback is an essential tool to keep our housing affordable.”

“Landlords saw a 10.4% increase in net operating income,” he continued, “yet we are hiking rents on New Yorkers already struggling to afford rent. Another rent hike puts many New Yorkers on the brink of rent burden, eviction, and displacement. In our city of relative abundance, we need a rent rollback for these New Yorkers.”

CBST member Kevin F. also testified before the Board. 

“One of Judaism’s core concepts is tikkun olam, or repairing the world,” Kevin said. “Our tradition teaches that no individual is solely responsible for making the world a better place, but neither are they free to absolve themselves from helping. In other words, everyone can do something, but no one has to do everything.”

“Landlord net operating income increased,” Kevin continued, “but the wages of people who work in the city decreased in both nominal and real terms. This is simply not a sustainable situation, and it will only get worse as rents continue to rise.”

Addressing the Board directly, Kevin said, “The city is undoubtedly mired in a housing affordability crisis. And this board cannot fix that alone. But you do have the power to do something. You can, and should, approve a rent rollback for the 2024-2025 lease term. “

Want to support CRRI Adam, Kevin, and CBST’s efforts? Email the Rent Guidelines Board stating that you are against rent increases and that you demand rent rollbacks for tenants. Contact agraubart@cbst.org if you have questions or would like to further discuss housing organizing.

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