As rents increase in New York City, so do evictions

July 28, 2022

Photo courtesy of CityRealty

The number of evictions in New York City has increased every month from January to June, according to new city data. The state’s eviction moratorium expired on January 15 after officials extended it several times after it first took effect in March 2020, at the start of the pandemic. The data comes as more bad news for renters, who are facing record-high rents after prices fell early on in the pandemic.

According to data from the city’s Department of Investigation and released by the Legal Aid Society, executed evictions have increased every month since the moratorium expired. The city saw 104 evictions in January, 145 in February, 213 in March, 234 in April, 302 in May, and 315 in June.

So far this year, there have been a little over 54,200 eviction filings in the city, but that number is expected to increase. In comparison, there were nearly 180,000 eviction filings in 2019, as City Limits reported this week.

Tenant advocates, including the Legal Aid Society, blame Albany for failing to pass the “Good Cause” bill, which would ban landlords from denying tenants a lease renewal without sufficient reasoning. Under the bill, landlords would have to justify rent increases greater than 3 percent or by 150 percent of the Consumer Price Index, whichever is larger.

“New York’s eviction machine is ramping up, and tenants in unregulated units are still deprived of rudimentary protections to defend against rent hikes and unwarranted evictions,” Judith Goldiner, attorney-in-charge of the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society, said in a press release.

“This is indeed a crisis, especially with rent amounts reaching unprecedented levels, and we call on Albany to immediately convene a special session to codify ‘Good Cause’ once and for all.”

Average rent in Manhattan surpassed $5,000/month for the first time in the city’s history in June, as 6sqft reported. Compiled by Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel, the report found the average Manhattan rent was $5,058 per month in June, a 1.7 percent uptick from the $4,975 May average and a 29 percent increase from an average of $3,922 in June 2021.

Brooklyn’s average rent jump 20 percent from last June to $3,822, while median rent rose 22 percent year-over-year. Northwest Queens saw a 15.1 percent average rise in the same period, with the median up 11.2 percent, as 6sqft noted.

In June, the Rent Guidelines Board voted to approve a 3.25 percent increase for one-year leases and 5 percent for two-year leases that start on or after October 1. For the roughly one million rent-stabilized apartments, the rent hikes are the highest seen in the city since 2013.

A survey released by the city in May revealed the overall median household income would have to double in order to cover the then citywide median asking rent of $2,750/month. The report also found the vacancy rate for homes listed below $1,500/month was less than 1 percent, a 30-year low.

When asked by Pix 11 about the future of Good Cause during an unrelated event on Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul said: “It did not get through the legislature. I deal with the realities that are in front of me. I got landmark legislation through to increase affordability but there’s always next session, and we will always talk about ways to make life easier for New Yorkers.”


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