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The City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development yesterday released their triennial report on New York City Housing and Vacancies. Most of the information that comes across in an initial looksie seems pretty common sense. The gist? While the household income of average New Yorkers has fallen, the price of living in the city has done anything but.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist or a statistician to know that affordability is increasingly the fundamental problem that we face," the city's housing commissioner told the Times.

The study found that median household income in New York fell by 5.9 percent from 2001 to 2004 (from $33,900 to $32,000), whereas it was increasing from 1998 to 2001. At the same time as income was declining there was a 8.7 increase in the median monthly rent from 2002 to 2005 (from $782 to $850).

The scariest part of the report is that "more people are spending more of their paychecks on rent." In 2002 half of the renters in New York spent 28.6 percent of the household income on rent. Now they spend 31.2 percent. Another 28.8 percent of renters spent more than half of their income on rent in 2005.

Of course, there are two bits of nice news slipped in. First off, vacancy rates have started to increase, which means a reduction of pressure on the market. Second, "renters rated their satisfaction with their neighborhoods at the highest levels in 27 years." But then again, if you're going to pay that much rent you damn well better like your neighborhood...

Photo detail from ohadby's flickr stream.