The BLOC and The Bronx Defenders Denounce the Rent Guidelines Board Decision to Increase Rents 


The Bronx, NY — The Bronx Leadership & Organizing Center (BLOC) and The Bronx Defenders share Bronx tenants’ outrage over the recent decision of the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) to raise rents by 2.75% on 1-year leases and 5.25% on 2-year leases for rent stabilized apartments.  

In the Bronx, our communities are saturated with high eviction rates and rent burdens, the highest rates of housing quality issues of any borough and, along with Queens, the lowest vacancy rate in NYC (with a vacancy rate of 0.82%), leaving Bronx families financially stressed and unable to find the affordable housing they need to secure their families’ future. 

The RGB’s decisions these last three years, despite strong advocacy from tenants to keep people in their homes, show that the plight of fellow New Yorkers is not the Board’s priority. 

“At The Bronx Defenders, a founding organization of the BLOC, we defend hundreds of tenants and their families against evictions each year in our Civil Action Practice,” said Runa Rajagopal, Managing Director of The Bronx Defenders Civil Action Practice. “In this work, we bear witness to the lack of quality, safe, affordable housing stock that causes housing displacement, exposure to the eviction machine, homelessness, and other civil consequences that impact tenants’ lives. The vote to increase the cost of rent stabilized leases will inevitability lead to greater displacement and harm to the most marginalized and vulnerable communities in the Bronx. Tenants deserve better.” 

“Hard working tenants in New York City are being squeezed out by a real estate industry that wants to deregulate, tear down, and replace our homes with luxury apartments,” said Joanne Grell, a Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) leader in the Bronx. CASA is a founding member of the BLOC. “Last year the rent increases were the highest in over a decade, and now the Rent Guidelines Board wants to pass the third rent increase in a row. This is unacceptable. Enough is enough.”  

Together with our partners, we will continue to fight alongside tenants of the Bronx for our basic human right to safe, decent and affordable housing.


About Bronx Leadership & Organizing Center (BLOC) 

Launched in 2022 as a partnership among The Bronx Defenders, East Side House and New Settlement, the Bronx Leadership & Organizing Center (BLOC) strives to stimulate the development of new solutions to sustainably lift families out of poverty and to promote dynamic leaders who will aim to change the public conversation around social and economic mobility. 

About The Bronx Defenders 

The Bronx Defenders is a public defender nonprofit in the Bronx that has developed a groundbreaking, holistic model of legal representation, providing systems-impacted individuals with teams of lawyers, social workers, and advocates dedicated to addressing their unique circumstances, radically transforming how low-income people are represented in the legal system.