New Yorkers of all incomes seek 'affordable' housing

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When people think about affordable housing they think about apartments that are subsidized by the government, but that is not always the case. The cost of living in Manhattan is so high that affordable housing programs are covering incomes, high and low.

Amy Plitt, an editor at Curbed New York, says the median rent in New York is more than $3,000 a month. That is why so many people are now applying for affordable housing. Developers have been given incentives by Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration to build more of it throughout the city.

Developers typically set aside 20 percent of units into a lottery for so-called affordable rents. But affordable housing depends on income, neighborhood and on the developer, she Plitt said. Affordable housing is "stretched so thin," she said. At one development in Gowanus, 56,000 people applied for 86 "affordable" units.

One West End Avenue high rise has 50 affordable housing units, but you must make more than $70,000 a year in order to apply for a studio or one-bedroom apartment. The rent will cost you more than $2,000 a month.

Plitt said that shows that people in all income brackets have a hard time finding an affordable apartment.

To live comfortably, one shouldn't be spending more than 30 percent of one's annual income on rent, according to experts. But that's not the case for New Yorkers. A recent report found that New Yorkers spend as much as 65 percent of their yearly income on housing.