Phyllis Furman in the June 20 New York Daily News write about a new study conducted by the Community Service Society. The release of the study was just ahead of the the big vote by the city’s Rent Guidelines Board on increases to next year’s rent stabilized leases. The vote could raise rents on one million rent stabilized apartments in New York City, anywhere from 1.75% to 4% for one year leases and 3.5% to 6.75% for two year leases.
The city’s escalating rents are eating away at as much as one-half of low-income New Yorkers’ paychecks, a new study has found.
Low-income tenants now fork over a whopping 49% of their pay to landlords, up from 45% six years ago, according to advocacy group Community Service Society.
Poor city residents are suffering the most: after they’ve paid their rent bills, they have a measly $4.40 per household member, per day, left over to pay for food, transportation and other essentials, the survey said.
“Rents have continued to escalate in good times and bad while employment and incomes have been falling off since 2008,” said Victor Bach, senior housing analyst at the Community Service Society.
The Community Service Society is calling for a rent freeze in light of the shaky economy and the already dismal finances of low-income city dwellers.
“It’s increasingly difficult for low-income New Yorkers to meet their rents,” Victor Bach of the Community Service Society said. “It creates growing housing instability and hardship.”
Landlords say rent increases are necessary because of rising costs that are beyond their control.
“Those who advocate no increase at all, some of them are elected officials who are responsible for having increased the cost of affordable housing,” said Joseph Strasburg, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, a landlord advocacy group.
“Real estate taxes and water and sewer rates have gone up. The costs of those mandates cannot be borne completely by the owner.”
The report shows rents soaring across the city, putting pressure on New Yorkers at all income levels.
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