The following testimony was presented by Michael Gillett, a rent stabilized tenant in Sunset Park, Brooklyn who has faced repeated permanent and compound Major Capital Improvement rent increases, on top of the annual RGB adjustments:
Good afternoon Board Members and thank you for this opportunity. My name is Michael and I'm a Rent Stabilized tenant in Sunset Park Brooklyn. I've lived in an 8-unit building since late 2006. Since I've lived in this apartment, my rent has gone up over $500. I've come here today because I'd like to express to you why it is that the magnitude of increase you've proposed for two-year leases is entirely too high and would be burdensome to me.
There are a broad range of Rent Stabilized tenants in this city. Some have lived in their apartments for many years but a lot of us are young adults working 9-5 and have had virtually stagnant wages in this tough & persistently negative economy. Personally, my Landlord has used at least 3 separate Major Capital Increases as a method to speed units within the building to the high-rent threshold which would remove them from rent protections. I have been the only person to stand against them in the building. One downstairs neighbor of mine was so intimidated and unnerved by the process that he moved his entire family out of the building when he deliberated the prospect of compounding rents + MCI charges in the years to come. The Landlord wasted no time in getting the permits needed and then gut-renovating that apartment and charging the new tenants market rate rent. There is also another apartment in the building with tenants paying market rent. Considering the perpetual nature of MCI rent increases he will have permanent residual income aside from whatever increase you decide. He also owns many buildings across Park Slope Brooklyn with tenants paying market rate rents.
Landlords have also been receiving substantial profits in recent years. In my borough of Brooklyn, the Net Operating Income stands at approximately 33%.
I would like to board to know that if you go through with this increase, you will harm the diversity of this city. I could not afford my apartment at market rate, and having to pay this extra money would be burdensome and could price a lot of people out of their apartments. With this being said, I would like to strongly implore you to consider a 0% increase at this time.