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On June 13, 2023 I submitted my testimony to the New York City Guidelines Board – you can submit yours too by June 15, 2023 here. Below you can watch and read my testimony.

I’m Seth Glasser, a New York City multifamily commercial real estate broker and cohost of the New York City Multifamily Podcast. I am not speaking to you as an owner, rent stabilized tenant or even New York City resident. Think of me as a concerned citizen.  I’d like to highlight a hard truth—costs are rising in every area of life, including rents.

Consider rent-stabilized tenants who, despite feeling the financial pinch, enjoy protections that two-thirds of city residents don’t. As neighborhoods mature, these tenants reap benefits from safer surroundings and robust local economies. But let’s be clear, rent regulation, while protecting some, drives up costs for everyone else, especially average earners in market rate apartments. These are the truly rent burdened, often priced out of the city due to the supply constraints that stabilization creates.

Maintaining and upgrading Americas oldest housing stock is expensive. The private sector is ready, willing, and able to shoulder these costs, benefiting local employment and improving housing stock. But this requires financial balance, which rental increases promote.

If landlords abandon these buildings, who will fund our housing? We’ve seen the state of NYCHA housing—lead, dirty water, mold, pests, and lingering repairs. Surely, we don’t want more of that.

Bad landlords should be penalized, just like any bad actors in any profession. However, most landlords are regular, well-intentioned people, deeply involved in the human elements of property management and get no joy from enforcing evictions. They too have families to go home to, they are not villains.

Consider rent stabilization’s downside—it bars you from home ownership, mobility, and building equity. The unintended consequence of HSTPA was that it wiped out tenant equity – no more buyouts. The simple math goes like this… one million apartments average $100,000 per buyout is $100 billion dollars of equity for the city’s most vulnerable inhabitants. $100 billion dollars – gone.

We should vote for rental increases, not because it helps landlords, but because it can vastly improve living conditions for countless New Yorkers. Rejecting intuition, let’s support tenants by enabling their landlords to maintain and enhance their homes for future generations by voting for reasonable RGB increases.

We can all win in a compassionate capitalist system—let’s grow the pie, not divide it up. Thank you for your consideration.

Seth Glasser
Senior Vice President of Investments
Marcus & Millichap / NYM Group
(212) 430-5136

Seth Glasser

(212) 430-5136 | | Seth Glasser is a Partner at NYM Group.

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