Report: NYC More Affordable Than Expected

By Catherine Yang, Epoch Times

For moderate and middle income households, New York City is the fourth most affordable city for dual-income households, according to the third part of a Citizens Budget Commission (CBC) study on affordable housing in the city.

The study confirms that low-income families are more likely to be burdened by housing and transportation costs than middle and moderate income families. However, the problem is less severe in New York City than other large cities in America.

New York City ranked second most affordable for low-income families out of 22 cities studied. But in all 22 cities low-income families required over 45 percent of their income to cover location costs, making them overburdened according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In New York City, a single person earning below the poverty level needs to spend 101 percent of their income on housing and transportation costs. 

“This policy brief reveals the extent to which low-income individuals and families are overburdened by housing and transportation costs in America’s largest cities,” stated Carol Kellermann, CBC president.

Location Costs

Earlier this year, New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced a goal of building 80,000 and preserving 120,000 affordable units within the next decade. 

The plan includes rezoning several neighborhoods to allow for more density, and CBC’s series support the need to bring transportation costs into calculating affordability.

“Efforts to stimulate development to increase housing supply in areas that can leverage New York City’s unique mass transit system are particularly well targeted,” stated Charles Brecher, CBC’s Consulting Research Director.

In the second part of the series, CBC found that New York City has the lowest annual transportation costs in the country ($5,752), because of the low cost of a monthly MetroCard. Unlike most cities in the country, 56 percent of New Yorkers do not own a car and largely rely on mass transit. 

The high median income of the region ($63,915, ranking sixth in the country), contributes to the relative affordability of New York City. Compared to other large cities in the country, the study ranks New York City third in location costs.