Mayor Bill de Blasio said today he is pushing to suspend this year’s Rent Guidelines Board process and freeze rents on the city’s nearly 1 million rent-regulated apartments in light of the coronavirus crisis. “If ever there was a time there should be a rent freeze, it is now,” de Blasio said at a news conference. “That’s something I think we have to do given the sheer severity of this crisis.” The move, which would require state approval, would eliminate the annual process by which the mayor-appointed board decides whether and by how much landlords of rent-stabilized units can increase rents. The mayor’s remarks follow a push from tenant activists in recent days to cancel the 2020 guidelines process due to the pandemic. State Assemblymember Harvey Epstein is introducing a bill in the state Legislature that would accomplish both aims. De Blasio said City Hall “will be working with the state starting immediately” to get the suspension and rent freeze done….