Rent-income gap boosts NYC rent burden: report

July 29, 2013 11:30AM

The disparity between climbing rents and static incomes has strengthened the rent burden for New York City residents, according to a 2012 housing and neighborhoods report from NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy released today.

The median rent burden has grown from 29.9 percent of income spent on rent in 2007, to 32.5 percent in 2011. A range of 30 to 50 percent of income is considered a moderate burden. In 2011, 31 percent of renters in the city spent 50 percent or more of their income on rent, meaning they were severely rent burdened.

Median monthly rents rose 8.5 percent – from $999 in 2007 to $1,084 in 2011. Housing prices, however, dropped citywide by 20 percent. In that same period, median household incomes fell 6.8 percent, from $54,127 to $50,433 a year.

“Given that two-thirds of New Yorkers rent their homes, it’s concerning to see that rental housing has become increasingly expensive across the city and increasingly unaffordable to many tenants,” Ingrid Gould Ellen of the Furman Center said in the report.

The report stacks up the city’s data against Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston and Philadelphia. Thirty-seven percent of Philadelphia’s residents are severely rent burdened. — Mark Maurer