As Albany Debates Rent Regulation, CSS Analysis Shows Rapidly Rising Rents in Many Parts of City

Thomas J. Waters

The Community Service Society analyzed just-released U.S. Census Bureau data from the 2014 version of its New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey, a survey of 18,000 New Yorkers conducted every three years under contract with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. CSS has conducted a preliminary analysis of the results to shed light on the important housing issues facing the New York State legislature this year, including the renewal of rent control, rent stabilization, and the 421-a development tax subsidy.

Our analysis, reported today in the New York Daily News, reveals that rents have risen rapidly, especially in the city’s inner-ring neighborhoods. Rents rose by 32 percent citywide since 2002, even after removing the effect of inflation. The sharpest increases occurred in neighborhoods surrounding the traditionally high-rent area of Manhattan below Harlem. Central Harlem led the way with a shocking 90 percent increase, with Bedford-Stuyvesant second at 63 percent.

The loss of rent-regulated housing to vacancy deregulation is combining with the loss of subsidized housing and with rising rents overall to dramatically shrink the city’s supply of housing affordable to low-income households. Between 2002 and 2014, the city lost nearly 440,000 units of housing affordable to households with incomes below twice the federal poverty threshold. 

Our complete analysis:

The Community Service Society’s Fast Analysis of the 2014 New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey from Community Service Society of New York



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