The Kingston Rent Guidelines Board held the first of two public hearings Tuesday as tenants, elected officials, and advocates stepped up calls for a rent reduction.
Prior to the meeting, housing activist group For the Many held a press conference outside Kingston City Hall. Mayor Steve Noble, a Democrat, addressed the gathering.
“When we looked at our housing situation a few years ago, we recognized that we had a couple of different issues,” Noble said. “One, no one had built housing in Kingston in a really long time. Two, we saw people taking advantage of that by creating this emergency by raising rents to levels that we had never seen before in Kingston. A 3% increase is something that we can see once in a while. A 5% increase would mean that, you know maybe a big investment was made in that property to be able to fix a tenant’s apartment. A 15, a 30%, a 40% rent increase that some of our tenants saw over the last two years, is completely inappropriate.”