The rent is too damn high.
Rent has gone through the roof in some neighborhoods, rising a crazy 50% to 90% in some spots, according to an analysis by the Community Service Society, a nonpartisan anti-poverty group.
Rents rose 32% citywide since 2002, but in six neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn, median rent presented to recent movers has spiked by at least 50%, the survey found.
“The sharpest increases occurred in neighborhoods surrounding the traditionally high-rent area of Manhattan below Harlem,” the report states, noting that median rent in central Harlem has jumped a “shocking” 90% since 2002.
Harlem-born Linda Chaplin, 63, fears she may lose her $1,000-per-month apartment.
“That’s why the flavor of Harlem has changed. They try to outprice the people who grew up in this neighborhood,” the retired MTA clerk and mother of five said. “Your retirement, your Social Security is not going up, but your rent is.”
Rent in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn has increased 63% since 2002
The findings come as rent stabilization laws are set to expire in a week, along with a huge 421-a tax break for developers designed to encourage affordable housing.
Mayor de Blasio, speaking at Harlem’s First Corinthian Baptist Church Sunday, called for ending the controversial program if he doesn’t get the overhaul he’s demanded. “If Albany won’t mend it, let’s end it,” de Blasio said.
“If Albany will not give us the changes we need, if Albany will not strengthen rent regulation, if Albany will not pass a mansion tax, if Albany will not protect us, then here’s what I think about any tax breaks for luxury condominiums, any tax breaks for developers who are not going to create affordable housing: I say end those tax breaks once and for all.”
As the June 15 deadline looms, Albany is considering reforms to both laws that de Blasio and housing advocates hope will preserve existing cheaper units and encourage builders to create more.
The survey shows skyrocketing rents have exacerbated the plummeting number of apartments affordable to low-income renters, dropping 44% from 995,000 in 2002 to 555,000 last year. That’s primarily due to rent-stabilized units going market rate when their rent rises to the level that they become eligible for vacancy decontrol.
For renters, the numbers translate into an unsettling version of Bleak House, particularly in the so-called “inner ring” neighborhoods of Manhattan and Brooklyn adjacent to already expensive areas.
“You really see the gentrification story where the biggest changes are occurring in this inner ring,” Tom Waters, a Community Service Society analyst, said.
Examining U.S. Census survey data released last week, the society showed the biggest jumps were in the heart of gentrifying New York — upper Manhattan and western Brooklyn.
The analysis compared the median rent charged to recent movers in 2002 with rates charged in 2014, with inflation factored in. They used rents facing recent movers because that’s a better reflection of the actual going rate.
The data show central Harlem topped the list with by far the most radical rent change: a 90% spike from 2002 to last year.
That means the median rent charged to recent movers in 2002 was $821. Since then, as luxury apartment buildings sprung up across central Harlem, the median rent new movers face is now a stunning $1,560.
Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant comes in second, with a 63% jump from 2002. There a recent mover who faced a median rent of $921 in 2002 now faces a median rent of $1,500.
Robin Kops, the owner of Marcy & Myrtle coffee shop in Bed-Stuy, said the change in demographics as seen in his neighborhood helps New York evolve and grow.
David Flick, 26, moved to Bedford-Stuyvesant two years ago to escape the soaring rent in Bushwick.
“At my last lease signing, my rent went up $20 instead of hundreds of dollars,” Flick said. “But I wouldn’t be surprised if two years from now it’s gonna be crazy around here, too.”
In the six years since Ryan Hampton, 33, and wife Laurissa Hampton moved to Bed-Stuy from the Upper East Side, rents in the neighborhood have climbed dramatically. A condo around the corner from them recently went for $3,500 a month. “And they filled it like that,” said Hampton, snapping his fingers.
But Robin Kops, 41, who owns Marcy & Myrtle coffee shop in the booming neighborhood, sees the changes as inevitable — and not all bad.
“It’s the way New York evolves and grows. Things are popping up to cater to the new demographic,” said Kops, an architect who opened the shop 10 months ago.
Other neighborhoods facing spikes include Brooklyn Heights/DUMBO/Fort Greene (59%) and Washington Heights/Inwood (55%) in Manhattan.
Williamsburg/Greenpoint, which started down the gentrification highway long ago, took off in the past decade with a 54% jump. There the median rents rose from $1,296 to $2,000.
The rent bubble hasn’t hit some neighborhoods. Rent has risen at much slower rates throughout much of Queens, central Brooklyn, the upper Bronx and on the Upper East Side — all areas where there is less movement of renters. And believe it or not, rent actually went down in Canarsie, Brooklyn (minus 1%), Bay Ridge, Brooklyn (minus 3%), and the South Shore of Staten Island (minus 5%).
With Maria Villasenor, Danny Lewis , Erin Durkin