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Talk to the Rent Guidelines Board

Mobile HomeTim Schreier

East Villagers, Monday is your last chance to publicly address the Rent Guidelines Board before board members vote on rent increases.

The board held a public testimony session yesterday at the New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn. Board members will hold their final testimony session starting at 10 a.m. Monday inside Cooper Union’s Great Hall. Board members will listen to testimonies throughout the day and into the evening.

To the dismay of many East Villagers, the board took a preliminary vote last month to increase rent prices from 3 percent to 5.75 percent for tenants signing one-year apartment leases and from 6 percent to 9 percent for those inking a two-year lease.

Andrew McLaughlin, the board’s executive director, said Friday it’s tough to determine how much the public testimonies will impact the board’s final decision on increases.

“It’s certainly an important part of the process,” Mr. McLaughlin said. “It gives the board an opportunity to hear from the public, but the amount the testimonies impact the actual vote depends really on each individual board member.”

If you would like to speak during the public testimony session, arrive at the Great Hall before 6 p.m. and register with a board official.

In the East Village, A Dearth of Rentals

One of the few rentalsMeghan Keneally One of the few available rentals.

When scouring apartment listings, it always seems like that time — that particular time when you decided to move — was the worst possible choice because there are so few apartments available. For those searching now, they’re not just imagining it.

The percentage of available apartments in Manhattan this May hit its lowest rate in the past five years. With every neighborhood differing slightly, the East Village average was 0.69 percent — the same as the city wide average — and the overall city vacancy rate decreasing by 0.25 percent from the month prior.

According to StreetEasy, a real estate comparison website, the overall amount of rental apartments in Manhattan is down by 18 percent from this time last year.

“Rental inventory is tight everywhere right now. It’s the season: May, June, and July are the peak months for rental,” said Sofia Song, vice president of research at StreetEasy.

The East Village is known largely in the real estate world for being filled with college students and recent grads (along with the artists and musicians who shaped the area’s identity), and while they do still make up a sizable amount of the market, there are other groups interested in the area.
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