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Many New Yorkers Can't Afford to Live Here But Don't Want to Leave: Survey

By Amy Zimmer | November 21, 2016 3:35pm | Updated on November 29, 2016 1:41pm
 Most NYC voters said they’d rather stay here than leave, a poll says.
Most NYC voters said they’d rather stay here than leave, a poll says.
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Should you stay or should you go?

Though many New Yorkers lament how the city has changed in the last decade or so, that doesn’t mean they want to leave necessarily. Yet, at the same time, almost 40 percent of New Yorkers say they can’t afford to live here, the Quinnipiac University poll released Monday found.

Sixty-five percent of New York City voters said they’d rather remain here, while 32 percent say they would move out if they had the chance, according the poll.

Manhattanites were the most fiercely loyal, with 74 percent saying they wanted to stay. While Staten Islanders were the most ambivalent, with 57 percent saying they wanted to stay.

But roughly 37 percent of those surveyed said they can’t afford to live here, the poll found. This sentiment was highest among black voters, with 57 percent saying the city is too expensive. And 41 percent of white voters felt that way.

“Sure it’s a nice place to visit, and people do want to live here. At least most of us do,” Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll, said in a statement. “But, if the city is nice, it’s not cheap. Half of New Yorkers say they can’t afford to live here.”

Brooklynites felt most burdened, with 52 percent saying they can’t afford it here. In Manhattan, only 38 percent said it was too expensive.

The survey results should come as little surprise.

Nearly 900,000 of the city’s rental households —roughly 42 percent of renters —  are rent-burdened, according to a report from the Citizen’s Budget Commission. That means they pay more than 30 percent of their household income on rent. Half of those households are “severely” rent burdened, paying more than half their income on rent.

The city also continues to struggle to address the record number of homeless people, with 60,000 individuals in shelters.

And while the city is becoming increasingly expensive, the quality of life here isn’t all that great, according to those surveyed in the Quinnipiac poll.

Only 7 percent of New York City voters rated the quality of life as “very good.”  

In the last few years, the quality of life in the city has gotten worse, 44 percent said.

The poll, conducted from Nov. 9 to 15, surveyed more than 1,200 New York City voters via land lines and cellphones.