Daily Israel Report

Report: Half of New Yorkers Can't Afford to Pay Their Rent

High housing costs, low vacancy rates, and falling incomes are conspiring to make housing unaffordable for many New Yorkers
By David Lev
First Publish: 3/16/2014, 8:42 PM

New York
New York
Eliran Aharon

More than half of New Yorkers are paying more rent than they can afford, according to a report released by New York City Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

According to most experts, “affordable” housing costs are pegged at 30% of household income; since 2000, the number of New Yorkers who were paying as much as 50% of their incomes on rent has risen sharply, with over half spending between 30% and 50% for rent.

The 30% threshold for affordable rent is set by federal guidelines. According to those guidelines, 33% of New Yorkers cannot afford to pay their mortgages, up from just a quarter in 2000.

The high expense of living in New York City was not restricted to Manhattan; according to DiNapoli, some of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city are in Brooklyn and Queens, including many neighborhoods with a high Jewish population.

The increasing difficulty for households in paying their rent or mortgage is due to a combination of factors, including increased housing costs and declining incomes. In addition, renters had an additional problem – that of low vacancy rates, the report said, which increases competition, and thus prices, for the apartments that are available.

Israel for its part is dealing with a housing crisis as well. In February the Bank of Israel reported that housing prices continued to rise, going up by eight percent over the 12 months concluding in October 2013.