TENANTS ARE NOT ALONE
Over 20% of New York City’s tenants are behind on December’s rent, according to a new Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) survey.
The number of rent-regulated tenants who did not pay rent in the city rose from 17.56% in November, to 20.97% in December.
“For nine months, our members have provided safe, clean homes to renters in need. They have borne a significant financial burden as the government has done absolutely nothing to help them, and not nearly enough for their tenants. This cannot continue,” said executive director of CHIP, Jay Martin, in a statement. “The government needs to step up and provide rental assistance to renters who cannot afford to pay, and give housing providers property tax breaks to offset their lost rent arrears.”
CHIP surveyed NYC landlords who own a total of between 80,000 and 100,000 residential units, and found that nearly half those apartment buildings were losing money -- with owner reporting, on average, a 22.1% drop in operating income compared to 2019, while operating expenses increased to 10.74%, in part due to additional COVID-19 related cleaning and related costs.
In a bid to attract tenants to vacant units, CHIP found that landlords have been offering concessions—on average, 1.61 months of free rent. While the overall vacancy rate in New York has dipped slightly to 11.8% (in comparison to its November peak of 13.2%), a lot still needs to be done to fix the city’s affordable housing crisis, which only seems to be compounding by the day.
“Without help from the government, or a dramatic turnaround of the economy that increases demand for rental units, there will be a housing crisis in New York City,” said Martin. “You can argue politics, but you can’t deny the math.”