Friday, July 14, 2006

NYC Lets Municipal Workers Leave.. But Not Too Far..

From Bloomberg:

New York, Citing Housing Cost, Lets Its Workers Live Elsewhere

Increased housing costs in New York City have led officials to abandon a policy in place for almost 20 years that required most municipal employees to reside in the city, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

The policy, rescinded in a new contract with the city's largest municipal union to be announced July 17, was imposed in 1987 as crime and a deteriorating quality of life drove middle- class residents to the suburbs. Now, the city's growing economy and amenities have created unprecedented demand for housing, making the restrictions ``inappropriate,'' Bloomberg said.

``There was a point in time when people had no confidence in this city and they were leaving in droves,'' the mayor said during his weekly appearance on WABC radio. ``Our big problem today is that more people want to live in New York City than we have housing for, and that's true at all levels of housing, from the most affordable to what I guess you could call the least affordable.''
...
The 120,000 New York City workers represented by District Council 37 of the American Federation of State, Municipal and County Employees earn an average of about $28,000, less than the city's median income of $40,000.

The Furman report said the highest rent a household with $32,000 in income typically can afford is $800 a month. The number of rental units at that price or less decreased by 205,000 in the past three years, the report said.

Between 2002 and 2005, the median share of income spent on rent by New York City tenants increased to 31.2 percent from 28.6 percent, and among unsubsidized, low-income renters, it rose to more than 50 percent from 43.9 percent, the study found.
...
Prohibitions on workers living outside New York state -- in New Jersey or Connecticut or Pennsylvania -- would remain in effect, the mayor said.

Let's discuss the impact of this policy on the stock and price of rentals in NYC.

Caveat Emptor!
Grim

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That residency policy is such a joke anyway. I live in Bucks County, PA and all I see is Jersey plates heading across the bridges into downtown Trenton in the a.m.

If Corzine did a 2:00 a.m. bed check at their listed residences in NJ one night, I bed he would not find ONE person where they are supposed to be.

Pat

7/14/2006 03:45:00 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

you can't afford to live in any of the 5 boroughs in a halfway decent neighborhood if you make less than $100k a year family income. no way.

7/14/2006 05:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Correction:

You Cannot afford to live in any of the 5 boros in NYC unless you make close to $100,000 a year as a single person.

Even formerly middle class neighborhoods like Flushing, Woodside, Astoria, & Jackson Heights are now yuppie central where you need to make over $200,000 a year if you want to buy an apartment.

You cannot qualify for anything other than a studio apartment in maybe Queens Village, Hempstead, Cambria Heights on a $40,000/yr salary or even a $60,000 a year salary.

What amazing is that people who work for the city are vilified and ostracized by the media & others because they are not your typical 28 year old white six figure wall street professional that is becoming the majority in all five boros.

As unemployment continues to fall and rents continue to spiral higher, there is going to be a real labor shortage in many industries in the city. No one is going to take a job for less than $75,000 a year when it isn't enough afford to anything with less than a 2 hour commute to Manhattan

7/14/2006 06:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

<< you can't afford to live in any of the 5 boroughs in a halfway decent neighborhood if you make less than $100k a year family income. no way.>>>

Less than $100,000 as a single person is hard. You have to give up many things that people in the rest of the country take for granted.

On a $73,000 a year salary paying $840 in rent, it feels like living in poverty when you can only afford canned tuna fish & generic pasta for dinner and the only vacation you can afford is a subway trip to Coney Island for the day.

7/14/2006 06:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In terms of impact on rental price and rental stock, I'm not sure this will have an impact.

Many of those 120k people may be using P.O. Boxes, but living outside the city anyway, so basically, they no longer have to pay the P.O. Box fee.

Alternately, they are from two-income families, and their's municipal job is the family health benefits job.

7/14/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense meant here, but what do you people do with your money? My salary is 60K a year before taxes. I have a wife that doesn't work and a sister-in-law that lives with us and I support while she goes to school. I have an hour and a half commute to work in Manhattan and spend 1600 a month on a very nice apartment in a nice town in Jersey. I am still able to save 1K a month. We are totally fine. We shop at Costco, go out to dinner once every two weeks. I don't pay for coffee and instead drink the free stuff from the breakroom and I pack a lunch. Videos from Netflix, home cooked meals, in house ironing, and frugality keep us afloat. Granted, I do not have a car payment and I already own all the stuff I need, But a single person making 60K a year will be able to find a nice apartment for 1K a month and do well. I don't know what kind of life you all think you are entitled to. Sure, if you don't make over 100K the city apartment - club hopping taxi scene is out of your reach. Tough.

7/14/2006 08:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 09:14:52 PM:

You cannot get away with a P.O. Box when you are under a residency requirement...they can tell the difference...and they actively check...trust me...I know.

7/14/2006 08:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

""Sure, if you don't make over 100K the city apartment - club hopping taxi scene is out of your reach. Tough.""

Then you will ave a difficult time living in this city or especially the suburbs of Long Island or NJ.. The general hostile, agressive & confrontationl attitude of most people, this insane materialistic culture, and making snap judgements about others based on what they are wearing & driving is astounding.

I never hear people talking about saving money, just about spending it. Like their recent $1,100 shoe purchase or how they spent only $2,000 on a handbag.

7/14/2006 08:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

""But a single person making 60K a year will be able to find a nice apartment for 1K a month and do well. ""

Where?? Sullivan county NY, maybe?? or maybe way on Long Island in Suffolk County near the Ronkonkoma train station.

I hear Hempstead is pretty affordable in the downtown part near Fulton Avenue.

7/14/2006 09:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Where?? Sullivan county NY, maybe?? or maybe way on Long Island in Suffolk County near the Ronkonkoma train station."

South Amboy, Matawan, Hazlet, Middletown, Red bank. My Sister rents in Rutherford LR, DR, 1BR.....1K. Walkable to nice mainstreet. These apartments are everywhere. 2K will get you a whole house in Red Bank.

7/14/2006 09:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You Cannot afford to live in any of the 5 boros in NYC unless you make close to $100,000 "

This is total BS. Yes, if you want to live in a luxury building and go out every night etc. Nice 1BR apartments in ok neighborhoods (say, near Columbia U) are available for $1,800. $60k annual income is more than enough for the rent and weekly ($40) dinners for two.

7/14/2006 09:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This quote is my favorite hands down:
"On a $73,000 a year salary paying $840 in rent, it feels like living in poverty when you can only afford canned tuna fish & generic pasta for dinner and the only vacation you can afford is a subway trip to Coney Island for the day."

73k - 8.48K = 64.45K
What are you doing with the other 64.45K?
Assuming you are in the 30% tax bracket, after taxes and rent, you have $116 a flippin day left over. Where, in God's green Earth, is this money going?

This quote has to be a joke.

Next best is:
"No one is going to take a job for less than $75,000 a year when it isn't enough afford to anything with less than a 2 hour commute to Manhattan."

As I stated above, I pay 1600 a month for a two-story, 2 bedroom apartment...1300 sqft...that is a 5 minute walk from the 80 minute train to NYC. I use the 80 minutes on the train to .....STUDY! because I don't plan on making 60K a year for very long. Also, I live one block off of downtown Red Bank so it is a nice, fun area that I am paying these apparent rock bottom prices for.

7/14/2006 10:05:00 PM  
Blogger Space Ghost said...


On a $73,000 a year salary paying $840 in rent, it feels like living in poverty when you can only afford canned tuna fish & generic pasta for dinner and the only vacation you can afford is a subway trip to Coney Island for the day.


What Nonsense !!

You are paying around 10K in rent. Lets assume that you pay Federal, State, City, FICA = 15K more (actually, it'll probably be less since you can deduct state and city). Lets also assume that you have no other source of income (no bank account, no Money market account).

You still have 73K - 25K = 48K left over. Even if you spend money on a car, and insurance, you still should have a nice chunk left over. Subway transit monthly cards can cover most transportation. Maybe you can't afford $300 jeans and $100 clubs every day, but you can still splurge on occasion. And the city gives you some of the world's greatest museums for < $20, and so many other recreational facilities.

7/14/2006 10:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:05:

You must be a newcomer. Space Ghost, you oughtta know better. We go through this like every Friday, when he needs his whining fix.

Gotta brush up on blog history, you know, or you get skewered like chicken on a Chinese buffet. :P

He's got 30k in cc debt - that's where the other 50k after rent is going. His apt. is rent stabilized, so he's O.K. with that, but he wants to get a new job so he can move to a bigger place (but we've all tried to convince him to stay there and use the pay increase to pay down his debt, instead).

I don't think we ever got the interest rate on it. I'm gonna guess 18% right now. So, Chase is taking his paycheck.

7/14/2006 10:18:00 PM  
Blogger rymingrealtor said...

On a $73,000 a year salary paying $840 in rent, it feels like living in poverty when you can only afford canned tuna fish & generic pasta for dinner and the only vacation you can afford is a subway trip to Coney Island for the day.
Oh come on paying 840 for rent and making 730000 and eating canned tuna... sorry your doing something wrong.
KL

7/14/2006 10:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plus don't knock Cambria Heights and Queens Village so much. They don't have cachet as names, but they're nice neighborhoods. I grew up in Southeast Queens, and while there are a couple of rough areas in the conglomeration, it's a nice place to live.

7/15/2006 06:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What areas in Queens are now the best and safest areas to look for a rental? Astoria?

7/15/2006 07:17:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

None,unless you carry a handgun.

7/15/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger Otis Wildflower said...

On Staten Island you can still find decent 1br rentals for about $800-900, I believe in Bay Ridge you can too.

Or, you could rent an apt. in a multifamily home like I did for about 5 years, $1100/mo for 2br + basement + backyard. And that was considered expensive. Never had a break-in, mugging or any other problem, Giuliani really did break the back of crime in NYC.

So yeah, they should live in the 5 borougs or find new work. Who knows, maybe if enough people quit the budget would go down or the salaries would rise (and there'd be a new fight for more taxes? Bring the pain!)

7/16/2006 09:30:00 AM  

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