This volume summarizes all the major research projects - including the 1994 Price Index of Operating Costs (PIOC) - produced by the staff of the Rent Guidelines Board during the 1994 guideline "season." We accept full responsibility for the analysis and findings contained herein.

The PIOC is certainly the most resource intensive project undertaken by the RGB. The index requires hundreds of hours of staff time to complete; by the time the PIOC is wrapped up, the endurance of its participants is usually stretched to the limit.

This year Andrew McLaughlin was in charge of the vendor and owner surveys, which are critical elements of the PIOC. Andrew did an exceptional job organizing materials for the survey and supervising our temporary work crew. The quality of the data gathered was better than ever and the productivity of the survey staff reached an all time high. As usual, Speedwell Inc. worked with RGB staff to compute the tax and water/sewer components of the price index. They also reviewed the final draft of the PIOC. Key contributions were also made by Speedwell to our study of tax arrears in rent stabilized housing.

Everyone on the RGB research staff contributed to the PIOC in some way. Jed Friedman calculated the fuel oil cost component. Andrew McLaughlin gathered data on changes in utilities and labor costs. Ted Fields was primarily responsible for our PIOC projection for 1995.

Finally, no acknowledgments would be complete without mentioning our PIOC temporary survey workers. Many thanks for diligent efforts to: Shirley Alexander, Penny Z. Blake, Sonia Cumberbatch, Tyrone Riggins and Lavern Shakes.

Apart from their work on the PIOC, the RGB staff should be commended for several other efforts. As a new staff member, Ted Fields coaxed the highest response rate ever from bankers for our mortgage survey. In addition, Ted's piece on rent skewing in stabilized housing clearly outlined a very complicated issue and provided important new insights. Jed Friedman's work on the 1994 Tax Arrears Study was exemplary and further clarified this very important issue.

The RGB also benefited greatly from the assistance of several city and state agencies. The Department of Finance (DOF) helped to prepare files used in computing changes in real estate taxes for the PIOC. For the fifth consecutive year, DOF also supplied the RGB with crucial data from owner income and expense (I&E) filings. Alisa Avruch produced much of this information, often under tight time constraints. We would like to thank Julie Walpert for acting as liaison with the DOF on these and other matters and Doug Layne for help with other Finance Department issues. James Rheingrover provided updated and improved figures on real estate sales prices.

Commissioner Wright and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) helped with several projects, including provision of data on tax abatements and in rem housing. A number of other agencies supported this year's research agenda. The Department of City Planning supplied the RGB with important data on real estate tax arrearages. Co-op conversion data was obtained from the New York State Attorney General's Office. The New York State Public Service Commission and the New York City Water Board and Department of Environmental Protection also provided information and relevant data for a number of this year's research projects.

Finally, two disclaimers must be made regarding this report. First, this volume includes only RGB staff research. The Board was also provided with a wide variety of additional sources of information, including Speedwell Inc.'s report "The Impact of Metered Billing for Water and Sewer on Multifamily Housing in New York," and written submissions and oral testimony from building owners, tenants, housing scholars, public officials and other interested parties. In addition, although this report does include a summary of the Board's guidelines for 1994-95, it is not intended as an explanation of these guidelines. Those who are interested in this issue should consult the Board's explanatory statements which are issued in conjunction with this year's rent orders.

Timothy Collins
Executive Director

Douglas Hillstrom
Director of Research