The Real Deal New York

Half of New York residents can’t afford the rent: study

Housing costs going up, incomes going down
March 11, 2014 11:30AM

More than half of New York households are dishing out more on rent than they can afford, according to a report by the state comptroller.

Since 2000, the share of renters in the state who put more than 30 percent of their income towards housing costs has increased sharply, from 40.5 percent to 50.6 percent, according to a report by Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, released earlier this week.

According to federal guidelines, housing is not considered to be affordable when costs exceed the 30 percent threshold.

Based on that standard, a full third of of homeowners also can’t afford their mortgages — up from 26.4 percent in 2000, the New York Times reported.

In New York City nabes, the percentages are even higher. In the Bronx, about 57 percent of renters pay more than 30 percent of their income for rent and utilities, the report showed. Brooklyn and Queens also had some of the highest percentages of households above the affordability threshold.

The lack of affordability can be attributed to rising housing costs coupled with declining household incomes, according to the report.  Median housing costs increased 18.6 percent for renters since 2000, and 9.9 percent for homeowners. But median household income for homeowners declined 1.6 percent since 2000, and 7.1 percent for renters.

The problem is exacerbated by low vacancy rates, which translate to higher rents, as well as rising property taxes, the Times reported. [NYT] — Angela Hunt

  • Landlord

    How timely and convenient that this story is published right before the first rent guidelines hearing !!

    • noclist

      I smell rent freeze in the air.

    • God Save Us from Aholes


  • Sarcastic

    I think this proves that the free market is a failure and we need more and more government intervention. Maybe if the Fed prints more money we’ll have more prosperity for all? How about more price fixing by way of rent stabilization. Certainly the government knows better than we do.

    • miloslav veytsman

      sadly many people actually believe your sarcasm to be gospel

      • disqus_biixlyodTL

        It is indeed sad.

  • uh duh

    So lower taxes so we aren’t poor all the time!

  • LOWER property taxes

    This announcement cannot possibly bode well. Not only the rent freeze but possibly they are planning on regulating all rents including two and three family houses. It has to be about money so they must be looking into catching some of that rental income from private homes that may not be reported for tax purposes. If they rent regulated commercial rents as some advocates have been demanding, this will also increase tax collection.

    This will shut up all the affordable housing third party advocates and they won’t have to pay for any grants for those advocacy groups.

    • ripple effects hit home

      That would explain how they allowed the dialogue to become so one-sided against property owners so that the rest of New Yorkers wouldn’t get involved in the debate until the rhetoric and the coverage became seemingly inarguable.

  • It doesn’t make sense.

    Maybe the city should stop making expensive proposals like the bike sharing program?

    I find it hard to believe that the city cries poor as an excuse to overtax us but continuously finds new things to spend money on.

  • ThatGuy

    30%? Try 50-60%. To live in Bed-Stuy.