HPD Releases Initial Findings of 2017 NYC Housing and Vacancy Survey
HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer recently released the initial results of the 2017 New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey (NYCHVS). The survey is required by state and city rent regulation laws to determine New York City’s overall vacancy rate for rental housing. It’s conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau at the request of the City of New York every three years. The sample of about 19,000 housing units was drawn from the 2010 decennial census conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and updated by HPD to include new construction, renovation, and conversion.
The 2017 survey found that while an estimated 69,000 units have been added to the housing stock, making it the largest housing stock on NYC record, the citywide net rental vacancy rate was 3.63 percent. This is well below the 5 percent mark that triggers the declaration of a “housing emergency.”
Since 1965, the NYCHVS has been used to measure the rental vacancy rate and housing stock for the five boroughs of New York City. Every survey since the first one in 1965 has found the rental vacancy rate to be below 5 percent. Here are some of the key takeaways from the survey:
- New York City currently has the largest housing stock on record. An estimated 69,000 units of housing have been added to the city’s housing stock between 2014 and 2017.
- New York City meets the threshold for a housing emergency. The vacancy rate is 3.63 percent. The threshold for a housing emergency is 5 percent. The vacancy rate of lower cost housing is extremely low–for rent-stabilized housing the vacancy rate is about 2 percent, and in deeply subsidized units, such as public housing or developments with project-based rental assistance, the vacancy rate is less than 1 percent.
- Rent-stabilized tenants benefited from low rent growth. While private unregulated rents increased by 9.3 percent, several years of lower rent stabilization annual and two-year increases issued by the Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) tempered rent growth in the rent-stabilized stock, where rents grew only 2.6 percent.
- Incomes have gone up more than rents. The incomes of all renters grew by 11.2 percent while gross rents grew 6.2 percent.
- Housing quality is high and improving. The number of renter-occupied units with no maintenance deficiencies increased from 41 percent of the stock to 52 percent of the stock, and the number of renter-occupied units with no heating breakdowns increased from 83 percent to 87 percent.
- Neighborhood conditions improved since 2014 and are at an all-time high. Seventy-six percent call their neighborhood conditions “good or excellent,” compared to 2011, when 70 percent called their neighborhood conditions good or excellent.