A new series of research briefs from the Citizens’ Budget Commission in New York State compares housing and transportation affordability in New York City to 22 major cities, using data from 2000 to 2012. The first research brief ranks New York City ninth worst in rental affordability, based on the percentage of households experiencing cost burden, spending more than 30% of their income on gross rent. The proportion of cost-burdened renters in New York City grew from 41% in 2000 to 51% by 2012. All 22 cities experienced an increase in the proportion of cost-burdened renter households, with Miami having the highest proportion (62%) in 2012.
The second research brief in the series examines housing and location affordability, using 2010 data from HUD’s Location Affordability Index across the same 22 cities. New York City residents had the third lowest combined housing and transportation costs (32%). Riverside, CA had the highest combined housing and transportation costs that year (44%). New York City is also the only one where more than half of the residents did not own a car (57%) and used public transit to commute (56%). Due to estimated transportation costs, the authors contend that a focus on building housing near transit would improve the city’s overall affordability.
The third report in the series goes beyond renter households, and examines housing and location affordability across seven different household types in the 22 U.S. cities studied. The household types are moderate income households, retirees, dual-income families, single professionals, low income families, single workers, and very low income single workers. None of the cities were affordable to very low income, single-worker households, those earning a wage equal to the national poverty line. Housing and transportation costs combined consumed at least 95% of the income for very low income, single-worker households in the 22 cities, with costs reaching 148% of income in San Jose, CA.
The entire series on affordable housing in New York City and comparable cities is at: http://www.cbcny.org/sites/default/files/NYC_Affordable_Housing/landingpage.html