NEW YORK (PIX11) — Ask any renter in New York City if they’re paying too much in rent, and the chance that they’ll say yes is high, to say the least. Still, a new report shows that the percentage of income that many New Yorkers pay in rent may be higher than some might have first thought. It also shows that a sizable minority of city residents is spending half or more of their income on rent.
At the same time, though, the report also offers some glimpses of hope for lower rent in the not-too-distant future. A new online tool from the Manhattan borough president’s office may also provide some more affordable housing in the long term, in the city’s most expensive borough.
The new report from StreetEasy.com shows that in New York City, where the median household income is $70,663, a resident’s income has to be nearly twice the amount of the median — $134,000 a year.
Kenny Lee, an economist at StreetEasy, explained how the company came to its conclusions.
“The typical asking rent in New York City was about $3,340,” he said in an interview, “and assuming you don’t want to spend more than 30%” of income on rent, we came up with the calculation.”
Financial experts like him have long recommended that people not spend more than 30% of their income on rent in order to have adequate funds for other necessities, such as food, and utilities.
“According to the city estimate,” Lee continued, “more than 30% of New Yorkers are spending at least 50% of their income on rent.”
His company’s report also concluded, though, that rents that are affordable to Section 8 housing applicants has nearly tripled since 2020.
Lee had one other bit of positive news.
“I think renters will be able to see more homes on the market over the coming months because of the seasonality of the market,” he said, explaining that as the warmer months arrive, the inventory of homes for rent increases.
Also, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine on Monday unveiled a new tool for designating potential developments of affordable housing in his borough. Manhattan is the most densely populated and most expensive borough in the city.
Levine’s office has found 171 potential sites in Manhattan for new housing already. The new portal on his website allows the public to suggest locations where housing can be built, according to Levine.
“A vacant lot, an empty building, a city facility that’s not being used, let us know,” he said. His office will do the due diligence to track down ownership, zoning, and other information to determine whether or not a property can be developed, he said.