Concerns mounting as potential rent-stabilized apartment rent hike looms

The city’s Rent Guidelines Board is proposing rent hikes on one-year and two-year leases, leaving some New Yorkers worried about making ends meet.  
For Bronx resident Santiago Ortiz, whose one-year lease recently expired in his one bedroom unit, anxiety has mounted about a potential rise in his rent.  
The board voted on a preliminary plan that would affect more than two million New Yorkers like Ortiz living in rent-stabilized housing. The potential adjustment could increase rent up to 5% for one-year leases and 7% for two-year leases.
Ortiz, who is on a fixed income, was recently able to get his rent delayed through a city program, but he fears that the proposed hikes could stop him from being approved for another rent freeze.  
“It’s going to be hard for me to pay the rent, and the landlord isn’t going to give me a break,” said Ortiz.  
The retiree relies on his Social Security benefits, which are approximately $1,000 per month, plus food stamps. He receives help from a home attendant, but says he has no family nearby to help with his finances.  
Ortiz is now applying for several rent assistance programs for seniors to help him stay in the apartment he’s called home for the last 16 years.