For Westchester Residents, the Rent Is Too Damn High!

It’s difficult to retain hourly staff if they can’t afford to live here. Here's a detailed look at this troubling reality.



juliasudnitskaya | Fotolia

With the Westchester rental vacancy rate resting at 4.6% in 2013, and 39% of Westchester residents choosing to rent in 2017, rent demand — and consequently cost — continue to rise. This climb is unsurprisingly leading to a growing gap between what renters can afford, considered to be 30% of their incomes, and what they have to pay, on average. At this moment, to afford a Fair Market two-bedroom rental, a Westchester resident needs to make an hourly wage of $32.81, instead of the actual Westchester renter hourly wage mean of $18.25. This discrepancy means the average tenant would have to work a 72-hour workweek just to properly afford their rent. And it’s getting worse. There was a 29.6%, or $173, increase in the monthly rent gap in Westchester between just 2016 and 2017. The data highlights this dangerous (and worsening) trend in the county, which can only spell bad news for its hourly-wage workforce.

Year
2005
2010
2015
2017
Average rent
$1,316
$1,621
$1,591
$1,706
Affordable rent*
$788
$929
$913
$949
Rent Gap
$528
$692
$678
$757

*Represents a monthly rent based on 30% of the mean hourly wage within the county.

 

 

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