Half of households in New York City don't make the $100,000 or more needed to afford living there
New York City is experiencing a rapidly worsening affordability crisis, according to a major new report.
Half of all of New York City's working-age households can't afford their basic needs, the study found.
Job losses and rising costs, including skyrocketing housing costs, are driving the crisis.
Half of all of New York City's working-age households can't afford the city they live in, according to a major new report released on Tuesday by the Fund for the City of New York and the United Way of New York City.
These New Yorkers can't comfortably pay for housing, food, healthcare, and transportation around the city, based on the New York City True Cost of Living (TCL) standard, which is an alternative to the federal official poverty measure also known as the Self-Sufficiency Standard that was developed two decades ago. Households in all parts of the city need to make at least $100,000 to afford the cost of living, according to the TCL. In more expensive areas, like lower Manhattan, they need to make at least $150,000.
This is the highest percentage of New Yorkers facing an affordability crisis in the 23-year history of the study, and marks a significant degradation of life quality since 2021, when the organization's report found that 36% of working-age households weren't making ends meet.
This amounts to 1,298,212 households — 2,991,973 people — who are working-age and not able to afford their basic needs, the study found. And this number excludes New Yorkers over 64 years old or those with work-limiting disabilities.
The report found that both job loss and rising costs of basic needs are the major reasons for the worsening affordability crisis. A major driver is the severe lack of affordable housing. The sharp decline in affordability is likely due in part to the fact that some pandemic-related emergency assistance programs, including the child tax credit, have since ended.
New York City has failed to build enough affordable housing and keep costs reasonable for its diverse array of residents, experts say. Lawmakers in Albany have reportedly scrapped Gov. Kathy Hochul's housing plan, which would have made significant strides in addressing the crisis.
Eighty percent of households living below the TCL had at least one working adult and about half of individuals had a college degree, graduate degree, or some college credit, the report found.
The crisis is hitting historically marginalized New Yorkers much harder than white people. Sixty-five percent of Latino, 58% of Black, and 64% of non-citizen households had inadequate incomes. Households with children — particularly kids under five years old — were much more likely to be struggling. Eight-six percent of single mothers caring for young kids didn't earn enough to support their families.
And city's worsening affordability crisis is driving some out. The city's Black population declined by about nine percent between 2010 and 2020.
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