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June 17, 2013

DiNapoli: NYC Rental Housing Less Affordable

Low-Income Tenants Hit Hardest

Housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable for rental households in New York City, with only 44 percent of all apartments considered affordable in 2011 for families earning the median income, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Rising rental costs have been most striking for our lowest-income residents – those who can least afford it,” DiNapoli said. “Without the benefit of government subsidies, nearly 80 percent of New York City’s low income households would have paid more than half their income toward rent, and the number of affordable apartments continues to decline.”

In 2011, more than two-thirds of the city’s 3.1 million households lived in rental housing. Housing is generally considered affordable if rent consumes no more than 30 percent of household income. In 2011, more than half of New York City’s households lived in apartments with rents that exceeded 30 percent of household income. Government housing subsidies reduced the share to 44 percent.

Many city households faced a severe rent burden in 2011, with rent exceeding half of household income. Even with government subsidies, one out of five households in New York City devoted more than half of household income to rent in 2011

Among New York City’s lowest income households, those earning less than $15,000 annually, 56 percent lived in apartments with rents that consumed more than half of their household income in 2011, even after the benefit of government subsidies.

Contributing factors to the decline in affordability include:

  • Stagnating income due to the recession;
  • continued increases in rental costs; and
  • a drop in the number of units subject to rent regulation.

For a copy of the report visit:



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