Low-income New Yorkers pay half their wages towards rent

June 21, 2012 09:00AM

Low-income tenants dedicate an average of 49 percent of their wages to rent, according to a study by the Community Service Society, cited by the New York Daily News. That’s up from 45 percent in 2005. In the six-year span, the median rent in the five boroughs jumped 31 percent to $1,176 while renters’ incomes climbed just 18 percent for the period.“Rents have continued to escalate in good times and bad while employment and incomes have been falling off since 2008,” said Victor Bach, senior housing analyst at the Community Service Society.

Low-income New Yorkers are defined as those who earn no more than twice the federal poverty line, which is $17,374 for a family of three. There were 617,000 low-income renters last year who did not receive any public subsidies for their rent. The poorest New Yorkers were left with only $4.40 per household member per day for food, transportation and other essentials after paying their rent bill.

The study was released before todays’ Rent Guidelines Board vote on rent increases for regulated apartments. [NYDN]