Despite rent regulation, New York rent burdens remain unaffordable for most low-income households, according to a report released Tuesday by the Citizens Budget Commission.
In the report, the CBC defines rental housing as affordable when rent is 30% or less of the household’s income. By this definition, in 2008, 54% of the citywide households in regulated units had affordable housing and about 52% of households in private, unregulated rental units had affordable housing.
However, among all city households with incomes below $35,000 living in private-sector rental units, only 10% had housing that could be called affordable.
Rent regulation is poorly targeted, said CBC president Carol Kellermann. It doesn’t provide many low-income families with the help that they need.
Based on 2008 data, the average discount provided by rent regulation is 31%, or an average rent reduction of about $5,500 annually per housing unit. These discounts are not properly targeted to low- and moderate-income households.
According to the CBC’s findings, the highest-income households receive the largest average benefit, a discount one-third greater than that for moderate-income households. In addition, the benefits are greatest for households in Manhattan, whose average discount is more than four times that of households in the Bronx.