By Sabina Mollot
Last Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio named three new members of the nine-member Rent Guidelines Board, which means the entire board is now made up of individuals he’s picked or has re-appointed.
The new faces include one owner member, Steve Walsh, vice president of development at Forest City Ratner Companies, and two public members, Helen Schaub and K. Sabeel Rahman. Schaub is the New York state director of Policy and Legislation at the healthcare workers union, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and Rahman is an assistant professor of law at Brooklyn Law School, who has also taught and serves as a teaching fellow at Harvard Law School and Harvard College. He was also a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, where he advised Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen on issues including regulating the sharing economy, homelessness and place-based development.
Of the three new members, Rahman was the only one to answer our questions. (Walsh and Schaub did not get back to us.)
When asked what made him want to take on the role of RBG member, which, as is widely known, means being the target of heckling by both tenants and landlords at raucous public hearings, Rahman indicated he was prepared for that aspect of it.
“It’s obviously a really important issue so people are passionate about it as they should be,” he said. “I absolutely think it’s an important issue and I’m happy to help where I can.”