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NYC’s adult population growth is outpacing affordable housing stock: report

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A new report from NYU’s Furman Center dives into the factors driving the city’s affordable housing crisis

Max Touhey

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration has been making efforts to address the city’s affordable housing crisis, upping his initial affordable housing initiative to create or preserve 200,000 affordable homes by 2026 to now 300,000 units. But the fact remains that the city is in the midst of a housing deficit. A new report from NYU’s Furman Center reveals some of the factors that contribute to the city’s affordable housing crisis (h/t Politico).

In its annual State of New York City’s Housing and Neighborhoods report, the center found that though the city’s housing stock grew by nearly eight percent between 2000 and the end of 2016, the adult population has increased by almost 11 percent. In 2016, adult-only households made up more than 70 percent of all the households in the city and the number of jobs in NYC was up more than 16 percent during that time frame. All of this highlights an increase in the demand for affordable housing; however, the supply isn’t meeting those demands.

“Despite considerable growth in the city’s housing stock, that growth has been outpaced by the increase in the city’s adult population and by job growth. The increasing housing stock has not been able to adequately moderate the pressure on rents caused by increased demand, and the stock as a whole has become less affordable, especially for the 70% of New Yorkers with low or moderate incomes,” said Vicki Been, faculty director of the NYU Furman Center in a press release. “This analysis highlights the need for more housing production in general, especially for more housing that is affordable to low- and moderate-income households.”

The report also found that household size has increased and more renters are living in severely overcrowded units, while the city’s vacancy rate remains incredibly low (it was just 3.6 percent in 2016). In fact, only eight percent of the city’s housing stock has been built since 2000.

While median monthly rents have risen around $300 since 2000, the median income for renters has only increased by $145 a month. Additionally, while rent burden among the lowest income households remained about the same between 2006 and 2016, rent burden among low-, moderate-, and middle-income households increased over that time period.

The 144-page reports dives into other topics around land use, the state of homeowners in NYC, and various neighborhood services. Read more about it all here.