Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Testify Thursday!

The RGB has heard from their staff about economic landscape facing tenants; they have heard from invited experts from both the landlord and tenant side; they have heard from government agencies that deal with housing. Now it's time for the RGB to hear from us.

Tenants have just one chance to speak out about the board's unusually high preliminary guidelines, and this is it: Thursday, June 13th, at 49-51 Chambers Street, starting at 10 am. Registration closes at 7 pm, but testimonies will be heard until everyone who has registered has a chance to speak. You can pre-register by calling the RGB at 212 385 2934, or you can register in person on Thursday. Tenants have 3 minutes to testify. Sometimes board members- either tenant members, owner members or public members- will ask follow up questions about your testimony. Don't be nervous- we are just telling our stories, and expressing the truth as we see it.

The Rent Guidelines Board needs to hear directly from tenants about the kinds of economic straights these proposed increase could put us in. They need to hear about the difficulties we face every day just to pay the rent, and the importance of long-term tenants to our neighborhoods and our city. They need to hear about the difficulty of finding suitable housing if we can't afford to stay in our rent stabilized apartments. And they need to hear about all the ways landlords manage raise rents, on top of the increases passed by the board. Please come and share your story with the Rent Guidelines Board. This is our one chance to formally speak out against these proposed guidelines, which would push too many of our homes beyond our budgets and towards deregulation.

To RSVP, or to request additional information about the hearing, please contact Sam Stein at sstein@tandn.org, or call 212 608 4320 x316. Tenants & Neighbors can help you prepare your testimony, or answer any questions you might have about the process. Tenants & Neighbors staff will be there in our white and blue t-shirts, so please look for us and come say hi when you arrive.

The RGB has proposed rent increases of 3.25% - 6.25% for one year leases, and 5% - 9.5% for two year leases. They have to hear from tenants that this is simply too high.

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