Thursday, October 15, 2009

After the Fall

The New York Times reports the obvious--the number of affordable apartments in New York City has fallen precipitously as a result of gentrification and rent deregulation. The number of apartments considered "affordable to low-income households" decreased to 991,592 from 1,189,962--a drop of nearly 17 percent--from 2002 to 2008.

FYI, according to the study quoted in the Times, a "low income household" is one that earns less than $37,000/year. Last year, about 42 percent of the city’s households could be categorized as "low income." Who knows? Perhaps you are living in one of them? Or, maybe you are new to the city--just graduated.

Let's say you have been educated, graduated, done the round of interviews, and been offered a gig as a TA. Now, you are a lucky professional teaching artist with a respectable, imaginary, nearly full-time gig at a leading cultural organization in New York City. You might have middle class aspirations, or even be from a middle class background. That would explain your expensive college degree, and your fortitude. Now, in a city in which the average monthly rental is $2801 per month, suppose you earn $125/day for a five-hour workday as a TA. That's $25 per hour, or $625 per week, before taxes. Imagine, if you had this imaginary job, and worked 52 weeks out of a year--which is unlikely, because it's imaginary--you would earn $32,500, before taxes...

You're going to need another imaginary job.

Also: City of Aspiration (pdf) - A study released by the Center for an Urban Future

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Or the even more painful reality: After sinking yourself into unfathomable depths of debt to obtain a Masters Degree just as the economy tanks, you attend interview after interview and NOBODY offers you a job.

The city is currently suffering an abundance of over-educated waitstaff.