New Data Illustrates Housing Affordability Crisis Facing Immigrants, Non-Citizens in New York City


Press Releases

November 18, 2022

Nearly 434,000 New York City Children Live in Rent Burdened Immigrant-Headed Households

Hispanic, Latine Non-Citizens Encountered Overcrowding At More Than Twice the City’s Rate in 2021

New York, NY – Today, the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) released Housing Security in New York City, a two-page analysis of new data from the U.S. Census Bureau that illustrates the long-standing housing and economic challenges facing immigrant families and non-U.S. citizens in New York City.

The analysis reveals that thousands of immigrant households experienced overcrowding and rent burden in 2021 – and immigrants who have not been naturalized and are not U.S citizens are especially impacted. The analysis shows that the city’s deepening housing affordability crisis predates the recent arrival of thousands of asylum seekers.

The findings demonstrate that soaring rent prices and deepening income inequality are affecting a broad range of New York City residents, while immigrant households – which comprise 36% of the city’s population – disproportionately face a number of housing security stressors. Children and adults in households headed by non-citizen immigrants remain at a disadvantage due to systemic barriers, such as language access and wage discrimination, that prevent them from earning a living wage and keeping pace with the cost of living.

“Our analysis paints a clear picture that immigrant households in New York City are more likely to struggle to pay their rent and experience overcrowding, which can lead to devastating outcomes for families and children,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York. “New York City is facing a shelter capacity crisis, and the recent influx of asylum seekers has exposed the long-standing challenges non-citizens and immigrants face in our city. There is a clear and urgent need for New York City and New York State leaders to implement policy and program changes that prevent evictions, lift incomes, and mitigate the housing crisis.”

Key findings from the analysis include:

Non-citizen households with children shoulder a higher rent burden compared to naturalized and native-born citizen households.
– 59% of non-citizen households with children in New York City experienced rent burden in 2020, compared to 52% for native-born citizen households
– Nearly 434,000 children lived in immigrant-headed household that are rent burdened

Non-citizen, immigrant households had the highest rate of overcrowding in New York City across all major race groups.
– Hispanic/Latine non-citizens in New York City experienced overcrowding at a rate of 22% in 2021, which is twice the citywide rate

CCC compared severe rent burden – households that spend 50% or more of their income on rent – to the number of residential marshal evictions reported by the City.
– Community districts with higher rates of severe rent burdened households have had relatively high numbers of residential evictions
– Residential marshal evictions increased from about 100 in January 2022 to more than 400 in September 2022

“Housing unaffordability creates a risk of homelessness and negatively impacts child and family well-being, especially for low-income and immigrant communities,” said Rimsha Khan, CCC Research Associate, who conducted the analysis. “Our research shows that median rent has increased by 8% from 2019 to 2021.These rising rent costs coupled with income inequality and overcrowded housing disproportionately impact housing stability and the overall well-being of children in New York City’s immigrant communities.”

“More than half of immigrant headed households with children in New York City experienced rent burden in 2020. These households include nearly 434,000 children,” said Bijan Kimiagar, CCC Associate Executive Director for Research. “Rising rental costs and the end of the eviction moratorium have contributed to an increase in evictions. New York’s leaders must prioritize budget and legislative solutions that lift incomes, prevent evictions, and ultimately provide housing stability to New York’s immigrant families.”

“Earlier this week, Mayor Adams announced plans to help New York City residents more quickly access high-quality housing by expanding eligibility to the City Family Homelessness and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) housing voucher program.” said Juan Diaz, CCC Policy Associate for Housing and Economic Security. “While this is a step in the right direction, more action is needed for immigrant and non-citizen New Yorkers.”

Based on these findings, CCC recommends that New York City:

  • Expand eligibility of CityFHEPS for undocumented families and allow individuals and families to qualify for CityFHEPS without needing to enter the shelter system. More families would be able to use the subsidy as a preventive measure and stay in their homes and out of shelter.
  • Eliminate the “90-day rule” that requires individuals or families to stay in shelter for 90 days prior to qualifying for CityFHEPS. Families with children are forced to endure unnecessary lengths of stay in shelter, and ending this rule will allow families to move through shelter and into permanent housing more quickly.

The new data also shows that the State must take more action to prevent evictions and provide housing stability. Governor Hochul and her administration should immediately allocate state funding to address the more than 100,000 pending Emergency Rental Assistance (ERAP) applications and include the statewide Housing Assistance Voucher Program (HAVP) in her upcoming SFY’24 Executive Budget. These programs would provide significant rental assistance to eligible individuals and families, regardless of immigration status.

Lastly, the State must also pursue legislative action to lift incomes and provide critical financial support to families struggling to keep up with rising rents. Key steps the State should pursue include indexing the state’s minimum wage to provide annual increases that address inflation and rising cost of living. The inadequacy of aid to poor households should also be addressed by enacting legislation (A890A/S8632) and (A9130/S9513) that permits counties to increase the shelter allowance to reflect the Fair Market Rent Standard and increases the basic cash aid grant for temporary assistance, as well as the utility allowance, to reflect inflation. The value of these basic supports have not been adjusted since 2003, 2012, and the 1980s respectively.

 

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About CCC
Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC) educates and mobilizes New Yorkers to make the city a better place for children. CCC’s advocacy combines public policy research and data analysis with citizen action. CCC casts light on the issues, educates the public, engages allies and identifies and promotes practical solutions to ensure that every New York City child is healthy, housed, educated and safe. For more information about CCC, visit www.cccnewyork.org.

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