More than 1 million households in New York City are rent-burdened, which means they are paying 30 percent or more of household income on rent, and nearly 600,000 of those households are severely rent-burdened, or paying more than 50 percent of their income on rent, according to the newly released NYU Furman Center/Capital One Affordable Rental Housing Landscape.
The Landscape provides a detailed look into rental housing affordability trends in New York City from 2000 to 2012 and illustrates how trends in affordable rental housing affected New Yorkers as rents continued to increase, incomes stagnated, and the share of renters paying a high percentage of their income rose.
Since 2000, the percentage of renters paying large shares of their income on rents has grown. While median rent in New York City rose by 11 percent from 2005 to 2012, median household income of renters rose only 2 percent. By 2012, a majority of renter households were rent-burdened, and nearly a third of them were severely rent-burdened.
“The lack of affordable housing is a complex issue that is driven by multiple factors, including stagnant incomes, increasing demand for rental housing, and slow growth in the supply of affordable rental housing,” said Max Weselcouch, Director of the NYU Furman Center’s Moelis Institute for Affordable Housing Policy. “Finding affordable housing in New York City is challenging. Conditions have worsened in the last few years and have disproportionately affected the city’s poorest.”According to commonly accepted housing guidelines, “affordable” rent should not exceed 30 percent of a household’s income. This means that a very low-income three-person household (making $37,350 a year or less in 2012 according to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines) should pay no more than $934 a month in rent and utilities to avoid being rent burdened. However, only 16 percent of recently available units in 2012 rented for less than $934 a month. In 2000, there was approximately one household under the very low-income threshold for every one unit of affordable housing. By 2012, there were three households under the very low-income threshold for every two rental units affordable to them.