Housing in Post-Pandemic New York: Mission Impossible for Tenants

Renting a place in New York has always been a combat sport. But since the end of the pandemic, it has been a near impossible task for many renters who have faced unprecedented price hikes.

In the spring, when leases are being renegotiated, Paula Seville, a young Hispanic, and her roommates get a raise of $800 a month to stay in their shared apartment in Brooklyn, the largest and trendiest in the city. Five neighborhoods in New York. Then they begin a frantic search for a new home: after two months of visits (often windowless accommodation, on the verge of unsanitary conditions), long queues and files of the most demanding requests, they are chosen for a three-room apartment for $3,000 a month.

“IIt happened to us that we lost an apartment because we moved forward…Four minutes too lateIn a buying market almost inaccessible to the middle classes, finding a rare pearl to rent has always been a challenge in this fabled city, which is a global economic and cultural magnet but with disparities Stark social and economic.After a slight lull in 2021, at the end of the COVID-19 pandemic that brought major cities to their knees and forced tens of thousands of families to flee, one-year rental prices jumped 20.4% in the second quarter of this year, according to to the StreetEasy real estate website.

Salary 40 times the rent

Realtors—sometimes mutual funds hidden behind real estate agents—demand an annual salary that’s 40 times the monthly rent, no debts, bank statements, and near-perfect tax forms. Paula Seville earns $75,000 a year, just above the average salary in New York. But not enough to rent alone. Tenants also sometimes have to pay agents commissions, representing one month’s rent, or even 15% of the annual cost.

We must add an inflationary economic context, the poor build quality of buildings in terms of thermal and acoustic insulation, especially in Brooklyn and Queens, and the chronic shortage of new housing in megacities of 8.5 million people. There were 340,000 missing in 2019 for the entire New York conglomerate, according to the Washington Up For Growth think tank.

exist “Too many clients and not enough apartments“Simply summed up by Miguel Urbina, a real estate agent. The New York City – the city that leans to the left – has imposed rents”settle downFor one million housing units and two million renters, but prices that depend on a Democratic City Council vote are not obscured. Under the radical mayor Bill de Blasio (2014-2021), rents were “settle downIt only increased 1.5% in one year. Sous son successeur de l’aile droite du parti démocrate, l’ancien policier afro-américain Eric Adams, les prix sont en train de flamber comme jamais depuis au moins dix ans (de +3,5% à +5% en juin sur year).

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In Manhattan, a family allocates 55% of its income to housing. The rate is as high as 60% in Brooklyn and 43% in popular Queens, according to data from StreetEasy, which decries the “staggering financial burden.” Manhattan Island, the financial lung of the United States, offers small apartments for an average of $5,000 a month, explains Gia Ilica, a real estate agent. There are also giant duplexes with terraces around Central Park on the famous Fifth Avenue for… $140,000 per month.

Enough to push the middle classes and younger generations toward the more disadvantaged neighborhoods where African American, Hispanic and Asian communities live, fueling gentrification. And the outlook is bleak: Manhattan’s shifting “skyline” is almost visibly focused on building office skyscrapers and luxury apartments. And despite construction sites in Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey across the Hudson River, no one expects prices to slow.

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