2006_10_houseinqueens.jpgU.S. Census Bureau released data showing how housing costs have grown dramatically, and boy, is it a doozy. The NY Times puts it more eloquently: "The numbers vividly illustrate the impact, often distributed unevenly, of the crushing combination of escalating real estate prices and largely stagnant incomes." Fine time for the data to be released - we can all look at what candiates are saying about affordable housing during election time speeches.

Here are some city figures from the article:

- More than half of New Yorkers are spending more than 30% of their income on rent (30% is considered the "percentage figure commonly seen as a limit of affordability")
- The average cost of a home increased by 79% - from $251,000 to $449,000
- Mortgages and home-related costs increased by 16%
- Manhattan figures: Median gross rents increased by 14% between 2000 and 2005, the number of people paying at least 50% of their income on housing increased by 14% and the median value of Manhattan homes is $718,000

While city dwellers are familiar (and furious) with expensive housing options, the problem housing costs are also increasing in the suburbs. There's also a graphic showing how sharp the increases have been in regions all over the country.

And the NY Times has an article about groups trying to forward affordable housing issues on the NY state level.

Photograph of house in Queens from Bluejake