New York City has been experiencing an ongoing affordable housing problem. As of January 2023, the issue seems to be getting worse as January saw a significant increase in the average rent being paid across the city. Brooklyn and Manhattan saw increases upward of $4,000 per month according to a report compiled by real estate firm Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel.
The average rent in Brooklyn was higher than Manhattan’s with an average rental being $4,165, a 30% increase in comparison to the same time last year.
Manhattan’s average rent sat at $4,097, a 15% increase compared to the same period in 2022. The rent listed for luxury apartments in Manhattan are upwards of $11,000 per month, an increase of 33% when compared to the previous year. The high rental prices have led to a drop in the occupancy rate in many areas of the city, the first time this has happened in nearly nine months.
Northwest Queens, covering areas such as Astoria, has seen four consecutive months of rental increases. The median rent now sits at $4,369, a 14.2% increase.
“It’s ridiculous, it’s extremely high,” said Katherine Rodriguez who has lived in Williamsburg her whole life. “The whole neighborhood is changing from what it used to be. The buildings, the culture. Everything’s more expensive. It’s not the same anymore.”
The Legal Aid Society has called on legislators in Albany to pass laws that protect tenants from paying exorbitant rentals and being evicted arbitrarily. “Despite decreasing inflation, rents remain at unprecedented levels, forcing tenants from their homes or onto the streets or into local shelters,” said society attorney Judith Goldiner. “So long as Albany fails to advance ‘Good Cause’ to equip tenants with basic protections…this troubling trend will continue.”
Both Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams have announced their intentions to improve the housing situation in the state and city. Hochul has promised 800,000 housing units in ten years. Mayor Adams and city officials proposed the conversion of under-utilized office space into residential units.