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To anyone look for an apartment in New York’s City “free market,” affordable housing can seem to be an oxymoron. While a well-known real-estate developer recently claimed that any housing rented or sold in New York City was affordable to the particular renter or purchaser, when the usual standards are applied many New Yorkers live in unaffordable conditions.
Generally, affordable means spending no more than 30 percent of household income on housing. For a household with an income of $100,000, affordable housing then would mean rent, utilities and other charges (but not phone and cable) or mortgage, maintenance and utilities would amount to no more than $2,775 per month. For New Yorkers at 80 percent of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development median ($56,570), which the department considers the top of lower income, the figure would be about $1,575.
Read more here: http://gothamgazette.com/article/demographics/20080515/5/2524