[A]verage advertised rents were about three times higher than average rents as measured by the Census Bureau. And when you look at data from the Furman Center at New York University, it’s not hard to see why. In Manhattan below 96th Street, 35% of rent regulated apartments are occupied by a tenant who has lived there for more than 20 years. Less than 3% of market-rate tenants have been around that long. Many of those rent regulated tenants would have moved if they had to pay market rent, whether within the city or to Florida; when they hold onto their great deals, they reduce supply available to new renters, and that drives up prices for everybody else.
The affordable housing we do have is great—there’s just not enough of it to house families who are increasingly being priced out their neighborhoods. In one attractive eight-story building constructed as part of the mayor’s affordable housing program, 5,000 families applied to live in one of the 124 apartments. To live there, families with two kids could not earn more than $52,000 a year.
(Video: Joe My God passes along this “animated rendering of how midtown Manhattan grew skyward from the 1850s onward.”)