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Report: Nearly 1.4 Million New Yorkers Spend At Least Half Their Income On Housing

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A new report from the State Comptroller’s Office found that nearly 1.4 million households in New York paid at least half of their income towards housing costs in 2017.

That same year, New York ranked third-highest among states in the nation for both the percentage of renters and homeowners deemed to be “severely burdened” by housing costs, according to U.S. Census data.

“The high cost of housing can force some New Yorkers to go without basic necessities or to be evicted. This is a problem that hurts renters and homeowners across the state who can’t stretch their dollars far enough,” Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. “Unaffordable housing undermines New Yorkers’ living standards and quality of life and damages the state’s economic health.”

Housing affordability measures look at levels of income compared to housing costs. Housing is generally considered affordable when it consumes less than 30 percent of household income.

In 2017, New York ranked third highest among states in the nation for both the percentage of renters, 26.6 percent or 900,000 households, and homeowners, 12.4 percent or 500,000 households, deemed to be severely burdened by housing costs that consumed half or more of their income, according to U.S. Census data.

The report looked at trends for housing costs from 2008 to 2017. It found:

  • Median household income for the state’s renters rose 2.5 percent, while rent increased almost 13 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
  • Homeowners are faring better than renters when it comes to affordability trends. Those with housing costs above the affordability threshold fell from 34.5 percent (in 2008) to 27.5 percent (in 2017). Still, almost 1.1 million homeowners paid housing costs that were 30 percent or more of their income.
  • From 2013 to 2017, Rockland (59.4%), Bronx (57.7%), Greene (57.5%), Suffolk (56.1%), Tompkins (54.8%) and Ulster (54.7%) counties had the highest proportions of rental households with housing costs at least 30 percent of income. Hamilton County had the lowest percentage at 29.2 percent.
  • The highest proportions of homeowners paying 30 percent or more of income for housing from 2013 to 2017 were located in Kings (40.4%), Suffolk (39.1%), Queens (39.0%), Rockland (38.5%), Bronx (37.4%), and Nassau (37.2%) counties. The counties of Cortland and Chemung were lowest at 16.4 percent.


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