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Minimum-wage workers need to put in over 100 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom in NYC

NYC has the largest affordable housing shortage in the U.S., according to a study by United Way.

Shaye Weaver
Written by
Shaye Weaver

It seems New Yorkers have been saying “rent’s too damn high” ad infinitum. But just how high is it right now? Well, according to The New York Post, a minimum wage worker would need to work 111 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom apartment.

Based on a survey from United Way, the Post figures that since the minimum wage in New York City is $15 and the average rent for an apartment in Manhattan is $4,000 per month. United Way says those living in New York State need to work at least 94 hours.

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In general, the United Way study says minimum-wage workers must work 80 or more hours per week and average-wage workers must work 50 or more hours per week to afford “a humble, one-bedroom rental at fair market rent” but that NYC has the biggest affordable housing shortage in the country.

According to its data, in New York, the annual income needed to really afford a one-bedroom rental is $60,962. Unfortunately, the renter median household income is at $48,924 and the low-income median household income is just $27,084.

And looking at the National Low Income Housing Coalition, New York has a deficit of 805,452 affordable housing units.

“Even at $25 per hour, [a $4,000 a month apartment] would still require a month of full-time, 40-hour work weeks to pay the rent [in NYC],” John Walkup, co-founder of real estate data analytics firm UrbanDigs, told The Post. “As the slower winter season comes into focus, Manhattan rents should ease more, but the probability of rents reverting back to, or even near, pandemic-era lows is low.”

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