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The most affordable NYC neighborhoods for recent college grads

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A new interactive map shows pockets of the city with affordable rentals for those making between $30K and 100K


Recent graduates face two daunting summer tasks: looking for a job and finding an affordable place to live in New York City. But a new interactive map can help with the latter, as it shows affordable areas of the city for grads with salaries between $30,000 and $100,000.

The map is based on a StreetEasy analysis of last summer’s apartments for rent by economic data analyst Nancy Wu. It looks at prices per bedroom and assumes individuals would spend maximum 30 percent of their gross income on rent—“a common threshold for affordability,” the study says. (Though one that is often exceeded in New York City.)

The tool shows that those earning $30,000/year (gross income) can find affordable apartments in Bushwick, Crown Heights, Ridgewood, and Hamilton Heights. Those earning $60,000 and upwards, may score affordable apartments—living with roommates, of course—in neighborhoods like Chelsea and the West Village.

Those earning $47,540—the median income for New York’s early-career college graduates, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—can find affordable apartments in neighborhoods including Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, Williamsburg, Astoria, Upper East Side, and Harlem.

Scrolling through the map, you’ll notice that, for instance, there were 775 rentals on StreetEasy last summer at $750/month or less per bedroom, considered affordable to those making $30,000 in gross income. On the other hand, there were 22,550 rentals at $1,250/month or less, deemed affordable to those who make $50,000.

Divided by areas equivalent to about four blocks, the map shows pockets within neighborhoods where recent grads can find affordable options. “So even if a neighborhood’s median rent is high, new grads can easily pinpoint where more affordable apartments can be found within it,” the analysis reads.