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Less than 15% of NYC rentals are affordable to Black, Hispanic residents with median incomes: report

May. 9, 2023 By Julia Moro

StreetEasy released a new report revealing a disturbing data point: the typical white household could afford five times as many market-rate rentals in New York City compared to the typical Black household and seven times as many as a Hispanic household.

This new report, combined with data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), confirms a disparity in income and the effects of rising rents have not equally impacted races and ethnicities.

“New Yorkers earning the median white household income ($93,919) can afford 64% of the city’s rental inventory, a decline from 75% in 2019,” read the report. “Those earning the median Black ($53,075) and Hispanic ($49,275) household income can afford only 14% and 10% of the market-rate rental inventory this year, respectively. This is a decline from 21% and 12% in 2019. Those earning the median Asian household income ($76,832) can afford 47% of available inventory, a decline from 61% in 2019.”

The rise in rent has been most felt by Black New Yorkers who earn the median Black household income, according to StreetEasy. The report said that for every 10 apartments that are affordable to white New Yorkers, only two are affordable to Black New Yorkers.

“Based on the median income for Black households in NYC, only 1% of rentals were affordable to Black New Yorkers this year in Downtown and Midtown Manhattan neighborhoods without spending more than 50% of their income on rent,” read the report.

The more affordable apartments to those with a lower median income are located here, in Queens. Many renters of color earning the median household income are able to afford units in neighborhoods with longer commutes to Manhattan, such as Flushing and Briarwood in Queens and BayRidgew and Flatbush in Brooklyn.

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