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Posted by SRO TENANT on May 17, 2000 at 08:39:02:

In Reply to: RGB's Hochman guarantees 3%-5% minimum increase posted by Rent Stabilized = rent gouged on May 16, 2000 at 16:26:06:

: If you have not yet marked 6/15 on your calendar, do it now!
: Operating expenses went up less than 1%, third year in a row, why should our rents go up more than that every year?

: On June 15, Mr. Hochman's board will hold its annual
: hearing: 900 minutes of complaints from 300 irked
: renters and landlords. Despite the sob stories, Mr.
: Hochman guarantees rent increases -- 3 and 5 percent
: minimum, 5 and 7 percent maximum -- when the board
: votes on June 22.

: After it's over, he'll go home to his luxury doorman
: abode and tell himself this: "You're a good boy, you
: love your mother, you try and save furry animals,
: protect the redwoods, so why is everybody angry at
: you? It's the job, not you."


The board gave preliminary approval to a 4 percent rent hike for SRO
tenants and a plan that encourages hotel owners to continue chipping
away at the dwindling but essential SRO housing stock. It voted to lower
from 70 percent to 50 percent the number of rooms that SRO owners
must rent to permanent tenants in order to get the 4 percent hike.

The formula originally aimed to stem the loss of SRO rooms as owners
convert their buildings to tourist hotels, shunning long-term tenants, who
pay much lower rates than tourists. SROs are the city's cheapest private
housing, a sort of barrier from shelters or homelessness. If last week's
RGB vote prevails, landlords can charge higher rents even as they take
affordable rooms off the market.

Elizabeth Kane of the West Side SRO Law Project called the vote
"unfounded" and "stunning." It's also baffling considering that SRO owners
can make unregulated profits off tourists rather than permanent tenants,
most of whom, according to a 1996 study, are employed but earn less
than $10,000 a year. Nearly half of all SRO tenants live in poverty.

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