New York City renters are facing increasing pressures, highlighted by a striking near-200% surge in evictions. Two recent studies reveal that while landlords are managing well, their tenants are struggling significantly.

Decrease in Wages and Increase in Payment Delays

According to a study by the Rent Guidelines Board, there has been a notable 6.1% drop in wages. Additionally, about 13% of renters have missed one or more rent payments, exacerbating their financial instability.

Evictions and Homelessness on the Rise

The situation has led to more New Yorkers seeking help from city homeless shelters, with a 9.5% increase reported. This uptick is a concerning indicator of the broader housing crisis in the city.

Calls for a Rent Freeze

Reacting to these grim statistics on evictions and homelessness, advocacy groups like The Legal Aid Society are pushing for a rent freeze. They argue that tenants are reaching a breaking point and cannot afford any further increases in rent.

Landlords’ Financial Health

Contrasting the tenants’ hardships, another study from the Rent Guidelines Board found that landlords of rent-stabilized buildings saw a 10.4% increase in their net operating income from 2021 to 2022. This has sparked debates about the fairness and timeliness of the study as rent discussions loom.

The Impact of Rent Increases and Evictions

In the previous year, the board controversially approved substantial rent hikes, which further strained tenant budgets. These decisions are set to be a central topic in the upcoming board debates, particularly at a key public meeting on April 25 involving stakeholders from both sides.

Significantly, the study also noted a sharp increase in residential evictions in 2023. This rise in evictions comes after the end of a moratorium put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, which had temporarily halted landlords from evicting tenants.

These findings underscore the growing challenges faced by renters in New York City and fuel the ongoing discussions about housing affordability and tenant protections, highlighting the urgent need for policy interventions to prevent further evictions and support the city’s renters.