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The Rent is Too Damn High!

The problem of high rent prices is a significant concern for many people, on a global level, as it affects their ability to afford housing and can lead to a host of other problems. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in 2022 the average hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom rental in the United States is $25.82, while the average hourly wage earned by renters is $18.57 (1). This means that many people are struggling to afford housing, even with full-time jobs.




Statistics on the average cost of rent in various cities vary widely, but in general, rent prices are highest in major urban areas. For this article, I did a study to compare market rents.In New York City, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $3,500 per month. In San Francisco, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is around $3,800 per month. In comparison, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a city like Austin, Texas is around $1,200 per month.


There are several causes of high rent prices, including a lack of affordable housing supply, an increase in demand for rental properties, and economic factors such as inflation and wage stagnation. Additionally, government policies and regulations can also contribute to high rent prices by making it difficult or expensive for developers to build new housing. Though, the biggest culprit, in my opinion, is the real estate owners, who are purchasing up residential spaces to then rent at excessive rates. About 70 percent of rental properties are owned by individual investors, according to Census estimates(2).


The consequences of high rent prices can be severe. NYC renters face a significant increase in this past year's rent. Personally, mine increased 18.59% without any improvements to the unit; my building is also extremely not accessible for persons living with disabilities. With these “freedoms,” renters face major difficulty affording housing, which can lead to forced moves to more affordable areas and even homelessness. High rent prices can also have an impact on local businesses and economies, as people may have less disposable income to spend on goods and services. It’s easy to tell someone “get another job” or “love where you can afford”, but there is no cap on the abuse property owners is permitted to enforce on their renters.


Allow me to break it down for you:

Almost 20% of NYC live in poverty

$35-$60k is the poverty line as of 2022

You need $60 - $100k after taxes to qualify for most housing.


Avg Rent $3,150 for a studio (3)

You need to make $37,800 a year to only pay rent

BUT WAIT…you’re forgetting that you have to qualify first.

That means you need $1,512,000 AFTER taxes to qualify.


See the current avg salary below (4)


As of Dec 2022, avg property manager makes only a little over $82k (5). While $82k sounds great, don’t forget to account for taxes, excessive lease increases, utilities, and other personal bills - - like travel.



More than 30% of workers don’t live in NYC (6)

Still on the fence? Let’s break it down even further:


I looked up my building on glassdoor. According to its data :

My building pays

$36k-$48k for Front Desk Admin and $112k avg for Management



What’s concerning is, the avg cost of a studio is $3,180-$3,835 (282 units). I couldn’t find one available for this specific building to show an image, so we will look at the cost of a 1b on a lower floor (I am on the 36th)


-That’s $168,200 @ 40x the rent…they don’t pay their own staff that much.

Account for the fact that:

  • The building is inaccessible (literally, no ADA doors as of 1/24/2023…they’ve had this building since 2017. What’s the excuse?)

  • Poor insulation (as if the neighbors are in the same room)

  • No duct cleaning in at least 2 years.


….shameful.


Ironically, NYC Business commercial rent tax is only 3.9-6% of the base rent.



To address the problem of high rent prices, a variety of solutions can be implemented. Government intervention and policies can be used to increase affordable housing through funding for housing construction or by providing tax incentives for developers who build affordable housing. Rent control and stabilization measures can also be implemented to keep rent prices from rising too quickly. Additionally, community-based solutions such as tenant cooperatives and community land trusts can be effective in providing affordable housing for people. Above all, we can’t just talk about the problem, we have to take healthy action.


Did you know: that there are landlords attempting to SUE the state for safety programs like ERAP (7) under the guise of “The Program is Prejudice against Landlords because it prevents them from evicting tenants.” Yes, a program that you must qualify for is somehow discriminating against Billion Dollar Real Estate investors, because it prevents them from throwing humans into the streets while the tenant’s application is being reviewed. Never mind the funds these property owners are pocketing for amenity fees, application fees, and the funds the govt. blesses them with for participating in these programs.



My proposed solutions

A few significant solutions I have been considering are:

  • Enforcing complete accessible standards

    • Automatic doors, etc

    • Penalty for failure to comply = 15% tax

  • Enforcing affordability for lower income or 15% tax penalty

  • Restricting companies from purchasing real estate per 5 accounts, per 5 years

  • Increasing tax rate by ½ of the lease renewal rate. If they want to increase rent by 5%, then they are paying an additional 2.5% in taxes

  • Enforce paying management and admin staff as much as the avg cost of monthly rent. You shouldn’t be permitted to charge extremely high rates while your staff is hardly getting by.


What this does is

  • Maintain healthy & sustainable measures

  • Prevent landlord abuse

  • Encourages Rental responsibility

At the end of the day, we all see how high rent prices are a significant problem that affects many people. The question now is, what are we going to do about it? There are a variety of causes and consequences of high rent prices, including lack of affordable housing, increased demand, economic factors, and government policies. To address this problem, a variety of solutions can be implemented, including government intervention, rent control and stabilization measures, and community-based solutions. This discussion will need to be continued until we see productive progress. It's important to take action to address this issue as it has a huge impact on people's life and society as a whole.


Sources:



FAQ:
  1. What can I do as a landlord?

    1. Talk with your tenants, earnestly. Try to collaborate on solutions. Many businesses are facing a need for staffing. You could consider employing some of your tenants. You’d be surprised at how effective this solution can be.

    2. Yes, Profits matter. However, without humans, those profits won’t exist. Be fair in the raising of rents. Keep up the property. Keep respect and communication.

    3. Ensure your units are accessible and that tenants don’t have to jump through unnecessary hurdles to communicate with you

  2. What can I do if I am facing a housing crisis?

    1. Communicate with your Buildings management and your landlord. Be open to troubleshooting the issue together

    2. Call 311 to Speak with an HRA agent.

    3. Remember that you are a human and are probbaly trying your best. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Just really put in effort to communicate and handle your responsibilities.

  3. What can I do if my landlord is trying to evict me, but I’m an ERAP candidate?

    1. First, they are not legally allowed to remove you or your belonging, nor major your living experience more difficult. If they do REPORT THEM to the Attorney General’s Office.

    2. Get an attorney or contact legal aid for representation and guidance.

    3. Respond, do not react.

  4. What can I do if my tenant isn’t being truthful and is using ERAP to not pay?

    1. Firstly, that’s rarely possible. In order to qualify for ERAP, you have to submit a substantial amount of evidence of one’s hardship. The standards are said more strict than those applying for food and medical assistance.

    2. If they’re somehow about to “game the system”, You must first have proof and then REPORT THEM. These programs are strictly for those in true need.

  5. What can I do as a community member?

    1. Attend community board meetings

    2. Encourage the Mayor and Governor to prioritize housing and responsible real estate investing.

    3. Communicate with your neighbors. More often than not, you’re not the only one experiencing the frustrations. Together, you and your neighbors can talk with your landlords and create healthy progress for all involved.


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About the Author:


Paradise Rodriguez-Bordeaux

🌎Global Business Strategist: Building Your Business To Sustainable Profits

🌟 Philanthropist | Empowerment Mentor


A Paradise Company / Paradise Rodriguez-Bordeaux Inc.

best-selling author, entrepreneur, and thought leader.

   Paradise Rodríguez-Bordeaux, the 2022 Human Rights Activist and the 2023 Innovative Leadership awards recipient, says,   

 "Sustainability is the bare minimum." 

    As an author, mentor, and mental health advocate, she is a passionate advocate for those who have faced adversity and discrimination in life. She has been a philanthropist for more than 15 years, giving back to her community by supporting organizations that provide solutions for poverty alleviation and social justice.  Her work as an innovator in business solutions led to the founding of...  Learn More

"We need to consistently produce effectively efficient solutions. 

This world, the communities, it's all of our responsibility. 

   Leaders HAVE to lead."




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