Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Post headline that will actually scare you: "1 IN 3 GIVE HALF PAY TO LANDLORDS"

From the Post today:

More than half a million New Yorkers are handing over at least half their paychecks each week for rent, a congressman said yesterday.

In just nine years, the number of renters paying half or more of their income to their landlords has surged nearly 15 percent - with The Bronx and Staten Island the hardest hit, according to Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn/Queens).

Weiner said the dramatic increase means that 1 in 3 New York renters is now in that unenviable category.

"You should spend no more than a third of your income on rent," Weiner said.

"That is [now] seen more and more not like a rule of thumb, but a pipe dream."

Weiner called for more federal funding for programs geared to affordable housing.

In The Bronx, nearly 117,000 residents, or 32.8 percent of renters, spend half their income on rent. That's up from 29 percent in 1999.

In the other boroughs, the percentage of residents forking over half or more of their pay is:

* Brooklyn: 29.9 percent, up from 25.5 percent nine years ago.

* Queens: 28 percent, up from 22 percent.

* Staten Island: 27.3 percent, up from 19.4

* Manhattan: 22.5 percent, up from 22.3 percent.

Meanwhile, more good news for renters in the city, as reported by David Seifman in the Post:

Operating costs for landlords of the city's million rent-stabilized apartment buildings jumped 7.8 percent last year, a harbinger that rent hikes this year will be larger than last.

The figures were reported yesterday by the Rent Guidelines Board, which meets Monday to begin the process of setting this year's rent hikes for leases signed on or after Oct. 1.

The final increases will be established in June after the usual round of public hearings.

Last year, when landlord costs jumped 5.1 percent, the board voted rent hikes of 3 percent for one-year lease renewals and 5.75 percent for two-year renewals.

Update: Gothamist has more information on the hikes here.

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