A salary of $58,450 or less annually is now considered low income in the New York Metro Area

May 17, 2018

Photo via CityRealty

If you are a single New Yorker earning $58,450 or less per year, you fall under the low income category, according to 2018 estimates released last month by the U.S. Department of Housing (HUD). These income limits are established by the government to help figure out if residents are eligible for subsidized and affordable housing. Even though the median family income in NYC and its surrounding area slightly increased this year to $70,300 from $66,200 in 2017, the high cost of living continues to place a significant burden on New Yorkers (h/t Curbed NY).

The housing department calculates Fair Market Rent (FMR) to determine payment amounts for government assistance housing programs, like Section 8 contracts and city-run public housing rents. HUD considers the NY Metro Area to include all boroughs of New York City, as well as Putnam, Richmond, Rockland and Westchester Counties. The FMR is the estimated amount of money a rental with a certain number of bedrooms in a specific area of the country will cost monthly.

For the NY Metro Area, HUD calculated the FMRs by unit bedrooms. In 2018, a fair market rent comes out to $1,558/month one-bedrooms, $1,789/month two-bedrooms, $2,280/month three-bedrooms and $2,437/month four-bedrooms.

While there is a clear need for more affordable housing for low-income New Yorkers, critics of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s housing plan say his policies have actually set aside more units for middle-income applicants. Last year, 6sqft learned low-income households in search of affordable housing face much tougher odds than middle-income applicants.

For one Brooklyn building, 535 Carlton, nearly 95,000 households entered the lottery for its “100 percent affordable” units. However, only 2,203 applicants were eligible for the 148 middle-income units, and over 67,000 households applied for the 90 low-income units.

But there is some good news for lower income New Yorkers. The city’s housing authority got a boost in funding from HUD this year, allowing NYCHA to issue new Section 8 vouchers for the first time in two years. More than 6,000 vouchers will be given to single people earning $36,500 annually or to families of four earning $52,150 annually. This measures out to renters paying roughly 30 percent of their income each month, with the rest being covered by the government.

[Via Curbed NY]


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