NY comptroller: Housing cost pinch worsening


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— Housing is becoming unaffordable for millions of New Yorkers amid declining incomes and increasing costs for rent and home ownership, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said March 10.

DiNapoli analyzed census data showing that the median statewide monthly housing costs increased 18.6 percent for renters and 9.9 percent for homeowners from 2000 to 2012. During the same time, homeowners' median household income decreased 1.6 percent and renters' median household income dropped 7.1 percent.

Affordable housing is defined by the federal government as being below 30 percent of household income. DiNapoli said that means more than 3 million households statewide paid at least 30 percent of their 2012 income for a place to live.

“When half your income goes to pay for a place to live, you are going to be stretched thin on other everyday purchases,'' DiNapoli said. “This unfortunate trend has troubling implications for our economic growth and for New Yorkers' quality of life.''

The share of households with rents above the affordability threshold increased from 40.5 percent in 2000 to 50.6 percent in 2012, and the percentage of homeowners above the affordability level rose from 26.4 percent to 33.9 percent in that time.

The pinch was especially severe for the nearly 28 percent of renters and 15 percent of homeowners who paid housing costs that were at least half of their household income, DiNapoli said.

Although incomes and housing costs are generally higher in the New York City area, DiNapoli says housing affordability is a statewide issue.

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