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Tenants Talk Back

Katie Sosin Jun 25, 2008

The Indypendent spoke to people at the Rent Guidelines Board meeting June 19 to see how the rent increase would affect them personally.

“I am young. I am in a position where I can start over, but some of my neighbors are on fixed income. I have a lot neighbors who are afraid to stand up.”

—Marcela Mitaynes, Sunset Park, Brooklyn

“I’m sorry to say, I have the same old reaction. I’m sick to my stomach. This thing is stacked. All they want to do is get people out of New York. This city is becoming a city for the rich. There’s no middle class. I can’t fight anymore. The city’s gone.”

—Janet Henne, Rego Park, Queens

“It’s the same thing every year. It’s conditioning. We come out and make a lot of noise, and they don’t listen anymore. … I think we have to hold Bloomberg responsible. We’re getting too reactive. I have a rent-stabilized apartment. Where is responsible housing?”

—Miguel Hernandez, N/A

“My rent will be too high. Too much money to pay. So now I have to think: Do I eat? Do I pay the rent? What do I do?”

—Marilyn Charles, Queens

“What’s happening is families are grouping together. You have three or four families sharing apartments. You know, they’re renting out rooms. God forbid there is a fire. We are being forced to revert back to communal living.”

— Debra Meyers, Bronx

“I’m an artist and he’s a writer, but we’re doing this [protesting rent increases] now. We don’t have time for art.”

—Vivian Rifflemacher, Upper West Side, Manhattan

“This was the height of the art community at one time, and now no true working artist can live in this community. There has to be room for all levels of society.”

—Matthew Abuelo, Upper West Side, Manhattan

For the full story on the RGB hearing written by Steven Wishnia, click here.

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