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Survey Finds Close to 40% of NYC Renters Will be Affected Immediately if out of Work due to Coronavirus

More younger adults would feel the pinch, while those aged 65 and up had up to 6 months of savings

A new survey by New York City-based real estate listing site PropertyNest found that nearly 40 percent of New Yorkers won't be able to pay their rent if out of work if out of work due to the Coronavirus outbreak

The real estate company surveyed New Yorkers across all five boroughs and ages groups on how many months of rent they could pay if they could no longer work due to restrictions from the coronavirus outbreak in New York City.

A total of 2,048 respondents ages 18 and older participated with a margin of error of +/- 2.7%. how many months of rent they could afford to pay for if forced to stop working due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While 25 percent of those survey said they had 6 months or more of savings toward rent, 38.9 percent said they could go 0 months without work and  13.9 percent said they could go one month.

More than half (51.2%) of those aged 18-24 who participated in the survey said they could not pay for any rent if they lost work due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in New York City. While those aged 65 and up made up the largest group of respondents who said they could pay up to 5 months of rent and 6 months or more of rent.

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Survey findings revealed the following:

  • Women made up a larger portion of those who had 0-2 months of rent available to them from savings, if without work, while more men made up the responses for being able to pay for rent for 4 or more months.
  • For those who responded 0 months, 56.5% were women, for 1 month 57.1% were women, and 63.1% of those who selected 2 months were also women. Men made up 60.4% of those were selected 4 months, 58.9% of 5 months, and 55.5% of 6 months or more.
  • Men and women were about equal among those who had 3 months of rent available to them (men made up 50.6% and women 49.4%).
  • With the exception of those 65 and older. The results showed that savings didn't necessarily improve with age, possibly due to the fact that more of those 65 and older were retired and receiving income through social security or pensions.

"The PropertyNest survey results paint a grim picture on New Yorker's ability to pay their rent in times of the coronavirus," said Ruth Shin, the founder and CEO of PropertyNest. "Most survey respondents don't have an emergency savings funds to cover rent for an extended period without work and may need support from their landlords and the government."

There is one olive branch, however, for New Yorkers statewide who have been furloughed in the time of the coronavirus: The state court system temporarily suspended all "non-essential" matters — including housing court cases and any eviction proceedings statewide — amid the coronavirus outbreak, beginning Monday, March 26, until further notice.