A new report issued by the Community Service Society (CSS) shows that the number of New York City apartments affordable to low income families decreased by 39% (385,300 units) from 2002 to 2011. The report is the second in a three-part series, based on an annual survey of low income New Yorkers. The report also cites data from the New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey between 2002 and 2011.
Forty percent of New York City residents are low income, defined as those with incomes at or below 200% of the federal poverty line, with 21.2% residents living at or below federal poverty line. Low income tenants faced increasing shares of their income devoted to rent, between 2002 (44% of income) to 2011 (49% of income).
Meanwhile, rents grew at a faster pace than incomes in New York City. The percent change in median rent for private-market units was almost 60% between 2002 and 2011, while median incomes saw less than a 30% increase. In 2013, 29% of low income private-market tenants fell behind on rent and 20% doubled up, living with another family to make ends meet.
These findings come at a time when a record 50,000 people in New York City are living in homeless shelters and those interested in public housing are put on an eight-year waiting list.
The CSS recommends that the city reestablish priority access to public housing and Section 8 vouchers for the homeless and people with the lowest incomes, and ensure affordable housing development is given the highest priority for the use of city-controlled land.
The report, What New Yorkers Want from the New Mayor: An Affordable Place to Live, is available on the CSS website at: http://b.3cdn.net/nycss/27ccd4d075e4ff7b10_fwm6b9i60.pdf
The survey, For Richer or Poorer: What New Yorkers Want in the Next Mayor, is available on the CSS website at: http://b.3cdn.net/nycss/f09fdbae8c6a952aa5_qom6bzw7l.pdf