Friday, April 20, 2007

NYC Affordable Housing Shrinks

The Furman Center has released the 2006 edition of their State of New York City's Housing and Neighborhoods report (via DMI Blog). We're just starting to go through it, but a couple of parts jump out.

On affordability:
The median share of income New York City renters spent on rent rose from 28.6 percent in 2002 to 31.2 percent in 2005, even though 30 percent is commonly considered the maximum burden households should take on.

On the available stock of affordable housing:
Households earning 80 percent of the City's median income - about $33,000 in 2005, or roughly the starting salary of firefighters - could afford to pay $830 in rent in 2005. The number of units affordable to those households fell by almost 205,000 units during the three years between 2002 and 2005. Although 58 percent of the City's rental housing was affordable to such households in 2002, only 48 percent of the rental stock was affordable to those households in 2005.

And on the cost of owning a home:
Between 2000 and 2005, the median sale price for all condos, single-family, and 2-4 family buildings increased by 68%, reaching $480,000 in 2005, up from $285,805 in 2000.

These record high sale prices, combined with stagnating incomes, have led to a declining share of home sales that are affordable to households earning the City's median income ($43,434 in 2005 dollars). In 2000, 11 percent of home sales were affordable; that number dropped to less than 5 percent in 2005.

These problems are solvable, if we take action. New York Is Our Home is working with state legislators to tackle the affordable housing crisis head on. Starrett City is the poster child, but this fight is about the whole city. We want to cover more housing under rent stabilization rules, and we want rent regulations to be stronger.

You can do something. Read the New York Is Our Home approach and then come to the Affordable Housing Borough Meeting near you.

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