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1 in 3 market-rate rentals are affordable for New Yorkers earning median incomes

Gothamist, Rebecca Redelmeier, Published Apr 27, 2023

As rents across New York City reach historic highs, fewer and fewer people are able to afford rent in the five boroughs, according to a new report from the real estate search company StreetEasy.

During the first three months of this year, only about 1 in 3 listings for market rate rentals were affordable — or cost less than half of household wages — for New Yorkers earning median incomes, the report found.

Even fewer apartments were affordable for Black and Hispanic New Yorkers, who earn less than their white counterparts on average, according to the Census Bureau’s five-year estimates.

“Affordability has declined in the city — for all people in the city — because of fast increases in rent,” said StreetEasy economist Kenny Lee, the report’s author. “However, the effect of those increases have been felt disproportionately by race and ethnicity.”

While over half of market rate rentals are affordable to white households earning median incomes, only 14% are affordable to Black households and 10% are affordable to Hispanic households earning median incomes, the report found.

“That can be really daunting for a lot of renters of color in the city who are trying to be a homeowner one day,” Lee said.

Read More: Gothamist