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New York State Comptroller: Rent is high in New York City

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a press conference in an elementary school gym on Feb. 25 to discuss his universal pre-K plan.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a press conference in an elementary school gym on Feb. 25 to discuss his universal pre-K plan.
Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

A new report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli confirmed yet again that the cost of living is high in New York City, several media outlets reported on Tuesday.

Although housing affordability is a statewide issue, income and housing costs tend to be higher in the New York City metropolitan area, according to the report, released on March 10.

In the Bronx, 57.6 percent of rental households were above the affordability threshold, which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development defined as 30 percent of household income.

The percentages of rental households above the affordability threshold for Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Manhattan were 53.7 percent, 52.5 percent, 48.8 percent and 44.4 percent, respectively.

The report comes just as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been pushing forward his affordable housing agenda. His plan would create or preserve 200,000 affordable homes and apartments over 10 years.

In a speech at the end of May, de Blasio referred to income inequality in New York City as “a tale of two cities.”

“Hop on the 2 train at Chambers Street, home to many Wall Street bankers, and head North, one stop, to 14th Street,” he said. “The average income at your destination is less than half of what it was from where you boarded."

He added, "Go five more stops to 110th Street, and average income is less than 20 percent of what it was at Chambers Street. Four more stops to 149th Street in the Bronx, and that figure slips to 8 percent."

In early February, de Blasio announced his appointments of Alicia Glen as deputy mayor for housing and economic development; Vicki Been as head of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development; Shola Olatoye as chair of the New York City Housing Authority; and Gary D. Rodney as president of the Housing Development Corporation.

Some housing advocates expressed concerns that de Blasio’s affordable housing plan might overwhelm neighborhoods after the City Planning Commission approved a $1.5 billion project on the site of the former Domino sugar plant in Williamsburg, the New York Daily News reported.

In 2012, more than 3 million households in New York State had housing costs that were either at or above the affordability threshold, the report stated. Of those households, more than 1.5 million households spent 50 percent or more of their income on housing costs.

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