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What is Affordable Housing?

For a home to be affordable, it must cost no more than 30% of the monthly household income for rent (mortgage and taxes) and utilities. "Affordable" housing refers to housing that is guaranteed to remain affordable for a period of time to families who qualify under specific income guidelines.

Fact Sheet

  • Nassau and Suffolk counties are among the 10 least affordable counties to live in the U.S., and the 5th most expensive metropolitan area in the country. (National Low Income Housing Coalition)
  • 88% of Long Islanders consider the lack of affordable housing a serious problem. (Long Island Index)
  • A unit is considered “affordable” if it costs no more than 30% of the renter's income. (National Low Income Housing Coalition)
  • On Long Island, 38% of households spent more than 35% of their income on housing in 2006. (Long Island Index, 2008)
  • Over one-fifth of Long Island households spend more than half their income on housing. (Long Island Index, 2008)
  • On Long Island, nearly half of all young people aged 25 to 34 are spending more than a third of their income on meeting their basic housing expenses. (Long Island Index, 2008)
  • Median home values more than doubled in a six-year period, rising from an average of $213,000 in 2000 to $474,000 in 2006. (Long Island Index, 2008)
  • The median price of a home in Nassau County is about $440,000. (New York Times)
  • The median price of a home in Suffolk County is about $373,500. (New York Times)
  • The share of homes being sold for less than $250,000 is now only 4%, though it made up 62% of the market in 2000. (Long Island Index, 2008)
  • Long Island’s housing stock is approximately 80% ownership and 20% rental housing. (National Low Income Housing Coalition)
  • Since 2000, rents have increased by 39% island-wide. (Long Island Index, 2008)
  • A studio apartment in Nassau or Suffolk county costs 302% of minimum wage. (National Low Income Housing Coalition)
  • No wage earner making less than $51,800 a year can afford to rent a one bedroom, Fair Market Rent (FMF) apartment in Nassau or Suffolk County. (National Low Income Housing Coalition)
  • A wage-earner would need to make $29.40 an hour, or 411% of minimum wage, to afford a two-bedroom apartment. This is unaffordable to 56% of renters. (National Low Income Housing Coalition)
  • In order to afford the $1,198 Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work 129 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. (National Low Income Housing Coalition)
  • 60,000 young people between ages 25 and 44 moved off of Long Island between 2000 and 2004 (bnet.com), and 65% of those between ages 18 and 24 said they were likely to move away from Long Island in the next five years. (Long Island Index, 2008)
  • Long Island is the third most racially segregated suburban region in the United States. (ERASE Racism report, “Long Island Fair Housing: A State of Inequity,” March 2005)



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