New York City is facing a housing crisis
But Albany’s proposed changes to the law take us down the wrong road. They do nothing to address the City’s affordability problem: they won’t make apartments more affordable, ease vacancy rates or create a single new affordable unit. In fact, they threaten to put small, local property owners in financial crisis and stifle the construction of affordable housing in the future.
The Facts you should know
- Over the past 20 years, the costs of owning buildings, including fixed costs such as taxes and fuel, have increased by more than twice the rate of rent increases provided by the New York City Rent Guidelines Board (RGB), according to REBNY/HR&A analysis of RGB data.
- In 2017, New York City had a net gain of 4,387 rent stabilized units according to the Rent Guidelines Board 2018 Housing Supply Report, for the first time in over a decade
- 71% of the city’s rent-stabilized units were built before 1947, according to a REBNY/HR&A analysis of the 2017 Housing and Vacancy survey. These older buildings are more likely to require significant and ongoing maintenance.
- The MCI program has significantly improved the quality of the city’s rental housing stock. Since 1991, the percentage of renter-occupied units with severe maintenance deficiencies has been cut in half, according to the 2017 Housing and Vacancy Survey.
- Albany’s proposals mean that landlords for more than 40% of the city’s rent-stabilized units won’t be able to afford an investment beyond basic maintenance, taxes, and utilities within 5 years. This will create a particular burden for tenants of smaller landlords who will not be able to reinvest to maintain quality of life in their properties, according to a REBNY/HR&A analysis of data derived from the New York City Rent Guidelines Board, Department of Finance, and 2017 Housing and Vacancy Survey.
- If Albany’s proposals were enacted, rent-stabilized housing would provide up to $2 billion less in property tax revenues annually, according to a REBNY/HR&A analysis of data derived from the New York City Rent Guidelines Board, Department of Finance, and the Housing and Vacancy Survey.
- In 2017, over 28,000 households who earned more than $200,000 a year were living in rent-stabilized units—saving them a total of $271 million annually, according to the Citizen Budget Commission.
- Over 145,000 lower-income and/or elderly rent-stabilized households are exempt from annual rent increases approved by the Rent Guidelines Board or rent increases resulting from major capital improvements (MCIs) in their buildings, unless approved by NYCHA, because they participate in the Section 8, SCRIE and DRIE programs.
- Tenant evictions are down 37.1% over 2013. This is the fewest number of evictions since at least 1983 (the first year data is available for), according to the Rent Guidelines Board’s 2019 Income and Affordability study.