Rent Stabilized Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Affordable

Every three years, New York City and the United States Census Bureau conduct a study of housing condition called the Housing and Vacancy Survey. Initial results from the 2017 survey were recently released and can be found here. RPA analysed the data and found three key takeaways that anyone who cares about affordable housing should read. This is the first in a series of three posts.

Rent regulation provides critical protections to almost a million households in New York City. These protections include the right to a lease renewal and a cap on rent increases. This means that more families are able to stay in their homes when market rents are rising quickly. But this doesn’t necessarily mean an affordable rent.

Despite these protections, most rent stabilized tenants in New York City still spend more than they should have to on rent. The recent HVS data release shows that almost half a million households—more than half of all rent stabilized tenants—pay more than 36 percent of their income on rent, making them significantly rent burdened.



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