A rent-stabilized tenant in the East Village has refused to leave his apartment while the rest of the building undergoes renovations. “I have nowhere to go. I’d literally be homeless if I did,” 64-year-old Rory Denis told CBS. Denis has lived in his building on East 6th between First and Second Avenues since 1979. “This is my home, and I have memories here.”
The CBS report notes that the contractor offered Denis an adjacent apartment while his undergoes renovation, but the implication is that Denis wouldn't be able to afford the $2,500/month rent the owner will be able to charge once the renovations are complete. It's unclear how much Denis currently pays.
According to a federal survey, New York City lost more than 150,000 apartments that rented for $700 or less from 2008 to 2011. The remaining low-rent apartments comprise less than one sixth of the total housing stock, and are mainly concentrated in public housing or subsidized housing.
WNYC has reported that while the Bloomberg administration will have created 165,000 affordable housing units by the end of his tenure, "tens of thousand of affordable units went off-line as landlords exited subsidized programs and regulated apartments went market rate." Oh, and as of 2011, 46% of New Yorkers were considered "near poor." Nearly a third of renters pay 50% or more of their annual income to live in their homes.