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Rent Stabilization Supported by 76% of NYC Gen X, Baby Boomers: AARP Survey

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Survey Unveils overwhelming Backing for Political Leaders to Preserve Affordable Housing Stock

NEW YORK, N.Y. – More than three quarters of New York City’s Generation X and Baby Boomer voters think city and state elected officials should support rent stabilization, according to a new survey commissioned by AARP, which today announced four principles essential to support and preserve the city’s affordable housing stock – especially for older New Yorkers.

The survey of city voters between the ages of 35 and 69 found 76% support rent stabilization, including 58% who “strongly” support it.

The survey found particularly solid support among African-American and Hispanic voters - 89% and 88%, respectively - including 74% of both groups “strongly” agreeing with the survey question: “How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statement: New York City and New York State elected officials should support rent stabilization.”

AARP advocates on behalf of Americans 50 and older. With the first Gen Xer turning 50 this year, AARP New York surveyed the generation about its experience and attitudes on a range of issues. The poll also included the huge Baby Boomer generation.

The survey showed 61% at least somewhat concerned about their ability to afford monthly rent or mortgage payments in the coming years – over 70% among African-Americans and Hispanics.

Seniors in New York City are particularly vulnerable; 51% of single senior renter households live in rent stabilized or rent controlled units and 65% of those in rent stabilized households pay more than half their income for rent ( New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey 2011); 38% of households headed by those 60 or older have annual incomes under $25,000 ( Nielsen Pop-Facts ® Advanced demographic data, 2015).

“New York City’s Gen Xers and Boomers are sending a clear message to our elected officials: preserve rent stabilization,” said Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York State. “Many residents depend on rent stabilization, and that’s why today AARP is laying out basic principles we believe will help renters - especially older renters - afford to continue living in and contributing to our great city.”

With current rent laws due to expire June 15, and with a 65 and older population that’s expected to grow by 40% between 2010 and 2040 ( New York City Department of City Planning Population Division Website), AARP’s four guiding principles to support and preserve the city’s affordable housing stock are:

  • Increase protections for tenants, and increase penalties for tenant harassment. Better enforcement of regulations and stricter penalties for violations will reduce tenant harassment and support tenants’ rights
  • Increase the rent threshold for exiting rent stabilization from $2,500. The legal rent level at which units leave regulated status should increase to better reflect today’s market.
  • Significantly reduce or eliminate the vacancy allowance. Current law allows owners to increase rents by 20 percent upon vacancy, thus creating an incentive for evictions and turnover. Reducing or eliminating this bump would discourage this practice.
  • Make increases for Individual Apartment Improvements (IAI) and Major Capital Improvements (MCI) temporary. Under current rules, owners can permanently increase rents to finance improvements. Making these increases temporary allows for buildings to recoup these costs without affecting long-term rent.

Note: The following results are from a telephone survey of 800 New York City voters age 35-69, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, AARP commissioned this spring. AARP will release the full survey June 24 at Baruch College:

 

Q: How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statement: New York City and New York State elected officials should support rent stabilization. Do you…

  NYC (Base Sample) African American/Black Hispanic/Latino Asian
  Total
(35-69)
Gen X
(35-50)
Boomer
(51-69)
Total
(35-69)
Gen X
(35-50)
Boomer
(51-69)
Total
(35-69)
Gen X
(35-50)
Boomer
(51-69)
Total
(35-69)
Gen X
(35-50)
Boomer
(51-69)
                         
BASE: NYC Counties 800 401 399 800 400 400 800 400 400 353 195 158
Strongly agree (5) 58% 55% 61% 74% 71% 76% 74% 71% 77% 43% 42% 45%
Somewhat agree (4) 18% 21% 16% 15% 17% 14% 14% 17% 11% 25% 24% 26%
Neither agree nor disagree (3) 9% 9% 9% 5% 7% 4% 5% 6% 4% 14% 16% 12%
Somewhat disagree (2) 6% 7% 6% 3% 3% 3% 3% 4% 3% 7% 10% 5%
Strongly disagree (1) 7% 8% 7% 2% 1% 3% 3% 2% 5% 8% 7% 10%
Not sure/Don’t know 1% 1% 2% 1% 0% 1% 1% 1% 1% 2% 2% 2%
Refused 0% 0% - - - - - - - 0% 1% -


 

Q: For some people, having affordable housing now and into the future is a concern. How concerned are you about your ability to pay monthly rent or mortgage payments in the coming years? Would you say you are extremely concerned, very concerned, somewhat concerned, not very concerned or not at all concerned?

  NYC (Base Sample) African American/Black Hispanic/Latino Asian
  Total
(35-69)
Gen X
(35-50)
Boomer
(51-69)
Total
(35-69)
Gen X
(35-50)
Boomer
(51-69)
Total
(35-69)
Gen X
(35-50)
Boomer
(51-69)
Total
(35-69)
Gen X
(35-50)
Boomer
(51-69)
                         
BASE: All Respondents 800 401 399 800 400 400 800 400 400 353 195 158
Extremely concerned (5) 16% 17% 15% 25% 27% 24% 26% 24% 27% 13% 12% 14%
Very concerned (4) 20% 21% 20% 24% 24% 24% 26% 25% 27% 19% 18% 20%
Somewhat concerned (3) 25% 25% 24% 25% 24% 25% 19% 21% 16% 25% 28% 22%
Not very concerned (2) 16% 16% 17% 11% 12% 10% 12% 14% 12% 17% 20% 14%
Not at all concerned (1) 22% 20% 23% 15% 12% 17% 17% 16% 19% 25% 21% 29%
Don’t know 0% - 1% 0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 1% 1% - 2%
Refused - - - - - - - - - - - -


Contacts: Erik Kriss, ekriss@aarp.org; Donna Liquori, dliquori@aarp.org

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;  www.aarp.org ; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at  www.aarp.org .

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