A study released Monday found that New Yorkers in market-rate apartments shell out nearly 60% of their income on rent.
StreetEasy's rent affordability study showed tenants who live in market rate units have a median rent-to-income ratio of 58.4%, nearly double the national average.
Alan Lightfeldt, the data scientist who used numbers from the U.S. Census and StreetEasy listings to create the report for the real estate company, said the lower-income communities in neighborhoods such as Red Hook and Manhattanville suffer because rent prices have gone up much higher than those tenants' incomes. "Our findings highlight how affordability is a neighborhood story," he said.
Brooklyn led the city with a median rent to income ratio of 60% followed by the Bronx with 52%, Manhattan with 48.8%, Queens with 41.4%, and Staten Island at 30.1%. The report didn't include data on rent stabilized or rent controlled units.
Lightfeldt predicted that the issue will get worse because vacancy rates for homes are low and show little indication of catching up to meet demand.
"The would-be owners remain renters if they cannot find a home that suits their tastes or budget, putting an extra strain on the already crowded rental market, and further driving up rent prices," the report said. Lightfeldt said the report highlights the need for continued subsidies to aid New Yorkers.
The state's rent stabilization laws expire this June and a huge debate awaits in Albany over the future of those regulations. Some landlords and elected officials want looser regulation on the 986,840 units so they can pay for rising costs and taxes.
Other leaders like Public Advocate Letitia James and housing advocates want to close loopholes that allow building owners to bring the apartments to market rate.
"Today, too many New Yorkers are rent burdened," she said in a statement. "I hope these statistics will change and we will do even more to create a more affordable New York."