Cheaper rents provide little benefit for city’s essential workers

While New York City’s pricey neighborhoods have seen drops in rent due to the pandemic, many neighborhoods that house the bulk of the city’s essential workers saw little change in affordability.

A recent StreetEasy report showed a 43% increase in affordable apartments, but most of these were in Manhattan, with the Bronx seeing little price changes on rent.

The average essential worker salary is $55,000 making a $1,400 rent within budget, the report said. Though 2020 saw more apartments in the city within that range, many were studios, which are inconvenient to those with children or other housemates.

Even with the real estate market consistently trending toward cheaper rents in the city, the median market-rate apartment still averages $2,600 throughout the city. For a typical essential worker, paying for an apartment at the median market price would mean spending roughly 56% of their income on rent, the report noted.

StreetEasy is a NYC real estate sales and rental website that also tracks data on housing market trends.