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US Census Paints Grim Picture For Housing For Low Income Earners

The slow pace of housing construction is outweighed by the demand and NYC's rising population.
Astoria Houses at NYCHA.
Astoria Houses at NYCHA. Credit: Wikimedia/Creative Commons

A US Census Survey paints a grim picture of the state of New York housing and its impact on low-income residents. According to The City, the availability rate of rental apartments dropped to 1.3% amid a rise in population, housing demand and low housing construction rates. 

Residents earning less than $25,000 spend more than half of their salaries on rent, while 45% of residents earning between $25,000 and $50,000, spend more than half of their monthly income on rent. 

The findings will likely prompt the implementation of NYC Mayor Eric Adams' housing agenda, lobbying for alleviating the ever-rising housing costs by restoring a tax break for rental construction, converting office buildings for residential use, legalizing basement apartments and allowing more density in residential buildings.

The report further reveals that residents looking for apartments in the price range of $1,100 struggle the most as all rentals in this price range are occupied. 

The occupancy rate for $2,400 apartments is at a low of 3.39%. The construction of new housing fails to keep up with demand.

Although the city saw the construction of 60,000 units between 2021 and 2023, the number of households rose by 275,000. Rachel Fee, executive director of the New York Housing Conference, said the report showed that finding accommodation in the city was "nearly impossible."

"New Yorkers need real solutions to add housing, particularly for low-income New Yorkers where competition for housing is fierce. Renters competing for the same units drive up costs," she said.