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More New Yorkers 'Severely Burdened' by Rent, Report Says

By Eliza Fawcett | July 29, 2013 5:34pm
 More New Yorkers are spending half or more of their income on rent, a new report found.
More New Yorkers are spending half or more of their income on rent, a new report found.
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NEW YORK CITY — High rents are weighing more heavily on New Yorkers' budgets than they were just a few years ago, according to a new report by NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy.

Thirty-one percent of New Yorkers were "severely burdened" by their rent in 2011, meaning they spent half their income or more on housing, the annual report found. That's up from 27 percent of New Yorkers who were severely burdened by rent in 2007.

“Given that two-thirds of New Yorkers rent their homes, it’s concerning to see that rental housing has become increasingly expensive across the city and increasingly unaffordable to many tenants,” Ingrid Gould Ellen, co-director of the Furman Center, said in a statement.

To make matters worse for renters, New York City's population has continued to rise, but new housing has not kept pace. During 2012 alone, the report counted 1,200 stalled construction sites across the city.

“The recession did not stop people from moving to New York City," Vicki Been, director of the Furman Center, said in a statement. "Yet, 2012 indicators show that we are not building at the rate needed to accommodate this continued influx of new residents.”

The data was compiled in the Furman Center's 2012 State of New York City's Housing & Neighborhoods report, which attempts to document how the city evolves year by year.

New York's neighborhoods are becoming less racially homogeneous as more people of diverse backgrounds flood the city, and New Yorkers themselves are changing, the report found.

If you were to stop a random New Yorker on the street, compared to a decade ago, it is more likely that he or she would be older, foreign born and have a college degree, and less likely that he or she would be white, black or married.

One-third of New Yorkers now live alone —  more than ever before, the report found. Fewer families have children, and the number of households with senior citizens has risen to 25 percent.

To see how your own neighborhood or borough has changed, or to learn more about how the city has evolved over the past decade, check out the full Furman Center report, accessible here.