**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
APRIL 2, 2013
Contact: Aja Worthy-Davis (212) 788-7081
Council Member Letitia James Criticizes Rent Guidelines Board for 2013 High Rate Increases
(New York, NY)— The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB), the panel that sets annual rent increases on rent-stabilized apartments throughout New York, has recommended larger increases for 2013 in comparison with 2012— between 3.25 and 6.25 percent for one-year leases, and 5 to 9.5 percent for two-year leases. In a 2012 report entitled “Rents Through The Roof”, New York City Comptroller John Liu stated that almost 50% of City households spend over 30% of their income on rent, compared with 26% of households nationwide. Federal benchmarks deem rent unaffordable when it costs 30% or more of the household income.
"It is deeply concerning that the Rent Guidelines Board consistently ignores tenant advocates who push for a 1-year rent freeze," said Council Member Letitia James. "The comparably small increases voted on in 2012 seemed to indicate that the RGB recognized that many low-and-middle-income New Yorkers were struggling. Apparently this year it’s business as usual."
In 2012, the RGB voted for increases that fell 50% below the previous year— between 1.75 and 4 percent for new one-year leases, and between 3.5 and 6.75 percent for two-year renewal leases.