Comptroller Liu Calls for a Rent Freeze

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New York City Comptroller John Liu is calling for a rent freeze in the city. Liu, who is running for mayor, attributes his proposal to "economically challenging times" and delays in building affordable housing, Capital New York reports. In his June 15th letter to the Rent Guidelines Board, Liu cites the City's 9.7 percent unemployment rate and the fact that a large percentage of New Yorkers spend more than one third of their income on rent. Liu's proposal comes on the heels of the Board's preliminary decision to increase the cost of one- and two-year leases for rent-stabilized apartments. Liu says: "Rent stabilized housing is one of the few alternatives left for these low- and middle-income New Yorkers." The preliminary proposal would raise one-year leases between 1.75 and 4 percent, while two-year leases could jump between 3.5 and 6.75 percent, according to NY1. Liu also cites the fact that those living in rent-stabilized conditions have "been hit especially hard by the economic downturn." The city has nearly one million of these rent-regulated apartments, NY1 reports. The board will vote on the increases on June 21. -Alissa Fleck

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