Public hearing on stabilized rent changes held at Hostos Community College

Bronx tenants asked for a rent freeze on rent-stabilized apartments during a public hearing at Hostos Community College Thursday night.
The Rent Guidelines Board is considering an increase of 0 to 3 percent for one-year leases, which keeps open the possibility of a rent freeze for the first time ever. For two-year leases, rent could rise between .5 and 4.5 percent.
Opponents say a rent freeze will make it hard for landlords to keep up with the rising maintenance costs and taxes, but tenant advocates argue that more than half of Bronx residents already spend a majority of their income on rent. A retired tenant also told the board she is concerned she will lose her apartment if rent keeps going up.
The board passed the proposal last month in a preliminary vote of 8-1 with both tenant representatives and one landlord representative as part of the panel.
The final vote will be on June 23. Three more public hearings will be held before then in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens.