In NYC, the price of an apartment reflects the widening gap between the rich and the poor. How does anyone afford to live there with the lack of affordable housing?
An FKD Feature exclusive


New York City is one of the most well known and desirable places for people of all ages to live. While it’s no secret that the city can be pricey, the divide between rich and poor neighborhoods is growing. Within the many boroughs of New York City, it is easy to find the extremely wealthy streets and the extremely poor streets. One need only examine the rent prices and the prices of apartments for sale, the lack of affordable housing is becoming more and more evident.

What is causing the wealth divide?

NYC’s wealth divides are due to the economic standing of the inhabitants and businesses in those areas. The middle class is disappearing in America, and so are middle-economy jobs. More than 60 percent of the 173 occupations said to decline by 2021 are middle-paying jobs.The decline in average wages has had a tremendous effect on the housing divide in NYC. You can clearly see the gap between the rich and poor when you compare any two neighborhoods’ ’ suggested median income. Due to this rise in the housing market, Manhattan is becoming too expensive for millennials to live in, and the lack of affordable housing is driving most people to move into Harlem or Brooklyn and commuting into the city for school or work.

One in five New Yorkers lives in poverty, juxtapose that to the billion-dollar apartments that loom over Central Park with a median household income greater than $200,000. But in East Harlem, the suggested yearly income is only $16,000.The only neighborhood that qualifies as affordable is Inwood, with a median monthly rent at $1,825. However, most apartments in the city are expensive, no matter which borough you call home. The average monthly rent for a three-bedroom apartment in New York is about $3,400. So how are millennials in the city affording the sky-high apartment prices?

Ways of affording rent

One way that people manage to live in Manhattan is to give up some privacy and maximize roommates. By splitting up bedrooms, the price logically can drop, but there is also the issue of finding accountable people who will not break leases. Many New Yorkers also save money by living in rent-controlled apartments, which are buildings that cannot exceed the legal limit on how much they can charge for rent, meaning they can not suddenly drive up prices. These apartments are difficult to move into due to the inheritance law in New York. The law says that if a person dies without a will, all of their possessions are passed down to a beneficiary. This means most rent-controlled apartments stay in families for generations.

Laws have been put in place making short-term rentals in a multi inhabitant building illegal, which directly affects Airbnb hosts in NYC. It is now unlawful for hosts to rent out their properties for less than thirty days if the tenant is not present. This is combat people using the rental service long term while the host is away. The law was passed in October of 2016, as a way to combat illegal hotel rentals and long-term housing. If a person is found guilty they will be fined $1,000 for the first offense, $5,000 for the second, and $7,500 for the third. This crackdown on illegal long term rentals is forcing inhabitants of the city to stay within the traditional guidelines of renting or buying a property legally.

Public housing is also a common way that people continue to live in NYC. This type of housing helps individuals or families with low income afford to live in New York. Rates are much cheaper, as a way of giving families who are not making middle-class salaries a chance to keep a roof over their heads.

Takeaway: New York has a severe lack of affordable housing

New York City is an expensive place to live. Combating the lack of affordable housing is difficult. However, by moving to more affordable neighborhoods outside of Manhattan such as Inwood or Washington Heights, the rent can become more doable. The suggested income for each area of the city varies and often is much higher than what inhabitants make.

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Posted 11.10.2017 - 01:32 pm EDT