Despite calling for rent freezes for the city's roughly 1 million rent-stabilized apartments, Mayor Bill de Blasio continued to raise rents on several properties he owns in Park Slope, new figures obtained by POLITICO show.
The mayor and his wife have increased the monthly rent on one of the units in a two-family house they own to $2,850 last year, from $2,400 in 2009. The increases came in $50 and $75 increments annually, according to a City Hall source who would speak only on background. They raised the other unit's rent by $25 to $1,825 in June of 2015.
They charge $4,500 for their primary residence, which they left in 2014 to move into Gracie Mansion. The two row houses, worth a combined $3.7 million according to city assessments, are on 11th Street in Park Slope.
The City Hall source would not explain why the mayor raised his own rents while pushing for a rent freeze from the city's Rent Guidelines Board, which has ruled for two years against increases on one-year leases for rent-stabilized apartments. Several years ago, a previous City Hall spokeswoman said the mayor charged his tenants more when he made home improvements.
The mayor's properties are not part of the state's rent-stabilization program, so he is not subject to the board's decisions and is free to charge whatever he wants.
That de Blasio as a private landlord has increased his rents by modest percentages is unremarkable, were it not for his influence over the board. He appoints the board's nine members and has publicly urged a rent freeze since taking office. He also has taken credit for the 2015 and 2016 rent freezes — running city-funded ads, holding rallies and reminding voters about them as he runs for re-election this year.