Why rent is so affordable in NYC, but not in your local area
Posted August 07, 2019 12:28:38 For a city that has been touted as a national model for affordability, New York City still hasn’t made housing affordable for its residents.
Many have been left with a housing shortage, with rental prices rising by more than 40 percent from 2017 to 2018, according to a report released on Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
The group, which has long pushed for affordable housing, is calling for the city to immediately begin planning for a shortage of rental housing in the coming years.
“There’s a massive amount of affordable housing that’s waiting to be built,” said Andrea Smith, the coalition’s president and CEO.
“In New York, we know that there are more than 1.3 million people in affordable housing.”
The number of apartments that are currently affordable to low-income residents rose by 4,500 units during the first five months of 2019, the report showed.
“For people who are working and have a low income, there’s a real opportunity for housing to be affordable,” Smith said.
“They are often people who would otherwise not be able to afford a home, who are looking for somewhere to live.”
New York City is the only major city in the country that has not made housing more affordable.
In the first quarter of 2019 alone, the median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan rose by almost 8 percent to $1,000, while for a two-bedroom unit it increased by more like 10 percent.
Rental rates in New York have been steadily rising for the past several years, thanks in part to the city’s historic growth in population, which began in the late 1970s and peaked at nearly 40 million people by 2010.
The city has been a magnet for college graduates, many of whom move here to work, study and earn a living, and who often need to save for retirement.
New York’s affordable housing crisis has led to a shortage in affordable apartments, with many renters having to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in fees to rent in the city, and in some cases hundreds of dollars per month for security deposits.
For a city with been touted by some as a model for affordable rental housing, New Yorkers still have not made it affordable for low- and moderate-income people, the group said.
The median rent in New Jersey rose by 2.5 percent to a record high of $1.17 million during the second quarter of this year, according the National Association of Realtors.
There are only a handful of apartment buildings in New England that are still in business, and rents in some places are far higher than the state average.
The New England Renters Union, a New York-based union representing tenants, said it was encouraging the city and other cities to begin planning immediately for the shortage of affordable rental units.
As a result, New Jersey residents are paying an average of more than $600 per month in rent, while the average rent for renters in Washington, D.C. is $1 the average apartment rent, the union said.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has repeatedly touted New York as a “model city” for housing affordability.
In March, Christie said New York had the highest housing costs in the nation.
A recent report by the Urban Institute found that the number of low- to moderate-wage workers in New America is rising and that nearly one in four New York households earns less than $30,000 a year.
If the city did not begin to plan for the growing demand for affordable rentals and the rising cost of living, the city would be paying a higher percentage of its income in rent than the median household in New Hampshire, New Mexico and Wyoming, according a recent study by the Cornell University Center for Housing Policy and Research.