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NYCHA Tenants Are Staying Put For Longer Than Ever

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As the cost of housing throughout New York City soars, more and more people are staying put in the city's affordable housing developments regardless of their shifting income. People are turning down the traditional dream of moving out of public housing and getting a place of their own in favor of staying put as the affordable housing crisis mounts throughout the city, which puts even more of a strain on the city's limited affordable housing stock. The Times reports that the average period a NYCHA tenant stays put these days is 22 years, up from 19 years in 2005 and 17 years in 1995. The longer stays are presenting a problem for NYCHA, which has 178,000 apartments, most in sore need of updates, with a 270,000-family-long waiting list.
Even if, once in the NYCHA system, a resident's income surpasses the authority's eligibility threshold, that resident can remain in their apartment. The percentage of NYCHA residents earning that much is minor, though, with five percent of households earning more than the max cap of $69,050 for a family of four. The New York City Housing Authority and the inspector general of the Department of Housing and Urban Development are at odds over how to respond to the mounting phenomenon, with NYCHA believing that higher-earning tenants in the developments create much-needed economic diversity and present a model for lower-income tenants, while HUD's inspector general recommends that higher-earning tenants get the boot to make room for the city's neediest.

As of now, higher-earning tenants have become dyer to NYCHA, as the NYT says the feds have required the authority to mount rent increases on higher-earning tenants, which is in part helping to keep the authority afloat, although barely.
· As New York Rents Soar, Public Housing Becomes Lifelong Refuge [NYT]
· Report: NYCHA Let Some Apartments Sit Vacant For a Decade [Curbed]
· NYCHA Will Go Green With $100M Worth of Improvements [Curbed]
· All NYCHA coverage [Curbed]