Affordable Housing at Risk in East Harlem

Across many communities in New York City, the availability of affordable housing is in jeopardy. Despite efforts by city government to preserve or create thousands of affordable housing units, rent protections for much of the existing stock will expire in the coming decades. Nowhere is this challenge more apparent than in Manhattan’s East Harlem neighborhood, where most residents live in some form of rent-regulated housing. Affordable housing has long been central to East Harlem’s identity and success as a district with a diverse population in income, race and ethnicity. But with government subsidies due to expire, residents, government and apartment owners will need to work together to extend preservation of affordable housing. In a new report, The Regional Plan Association (RPA) conducted an unprecedented survey of East Harlem’s more than 40,000 rent-regulated units. Based on the findings, RPA determined that nearly one-third of regulated housing units will lose their rent protection by 2040. Some 2,600 units will lose their rent-regulated status far sooner, by 2020, raising the risk of a shortfall in affordable housing in East Harlem in the next few years.


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