Report: Pandemic Rent Dip In NYC Hasn’t Made Much Difference For Essential Workers


Whereas residence rents have dropped in New York Metropolis for the reason that pandemic started, important staff haven’t considerably benefited from them, in line with a brand new report from the true property web site StreetEasy.

The most important hire drops occurred in areas the place the vast majority of important staff don’t dwell however larger revenue earners do, reminiscent of Manhattan and waterfront neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. Although the examine discovered that extra residences reasonably priced to low-wage staff additionally turned out there, these listings nonetheless make up a tiny portion of obtainable leases on StreetEasy.

“That basically highlights the tale-of-two-cities narrative, the place we’re seeing unequal rents falling throughout the town,” Nancy Wu, an economist at StreetEasy, informed Gothamist/WNYC. “There’s been some assist to hire affordability by way of making extra residences out there, however it’s not practically sufficient to offset the hire burden that many important staff face.”

StreetEasy based mostly its definition of “important staff” on a examine by Metropolis Comptroller Scott Stringer, who included nurses, grocery clerks, and public transit staff, amongst others. The bulk are immigrants, individuals of shade, and girls, who predominantly reside in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. There are about 1,000,000 of them within the metropolis, incomes a median of $55,973 a 12 months—which, by federal tips, means they will afford an residence with a month-to-month hire of $1,400, or 30% of their revenue.

A table showing how a small percentage of apartments have become newly affordable for essential workers.

Nevin Muni, 53, is one in all many rent-burdened frontline staff. A stockroom affiliate at T.J. Maxx, Muni shares a one-bedroom residence in Elmhurst together with her disabled husband. They spend round 50% % of their family revenue on hire, one thing that hasn’t modified through the pandemic. She mentioned they attempt to save as a lot as attainable by not consuming out, chopping their very own hair and handwashing a few of their clothes.

“We economize for the whole lot to pay our hire,” Muni mentioned.

The variety of properties listed on StreetEasy which can be reasonably priced to important staff elevated by 3,561, or 44%, between 2019 and 2020. Nonetheless, these residences made up simply 4.1% of the entire listings on the web site. Moreover, in some neighborhoods the place important staff dwell, reminiscent of Sheepshead Bay and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn, the variety of reasonably priced housing items truly decreased.

Barika Williams, government director on the Affiliation for Neighborhood and Housing Growth, mentioned the report mirrored “harsh truths” about completely different rental markets within the metropolis amid the pandemic.

“We have got this luxurious excessive price rental market the place one factor is occurring and rents are dropping,” she mentioned. “After which we have just about the remainder of the town, the place the majority of our important staff dwell, the place rents have not actually dropped.”