Manhattan has the tallest apartment buildings and Brooklyn is the most populous borough, but a new analysis shows that four neighborhoods in Queens have the most number of crowded households than any place else in the city. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
We all know the streets surge with people. They file onto packed busses and crowded subway trains. But nearly one in 10 New Yorkers comes home to a crowd as well.
"Crowded. Very little privacy," said one New Yorker.
"It gets really annoying," said another.
"Not good. It's hard," said a third.
Hassan Amafuzel shares a four room apartment with eight people.
"Sleep is the main problem," Amafuzel said. "We cannot sleep. The sound sleep, we cannot sound sleep. That is the problem."
The website StreetEasy reports that 8.9 percent of all city households meet the definition of "crowded," with more than one person per room. That's nearly three times the national average.
The Bronx has the highest percentage of packed households, at 12.4 percent. Staten Island has the lowest.
However, four Queens neighborhoods have the most crowded households in the city. 23 percent of all Corona housing units are crowded. North Corona, East Elmhurst and Jackson Heights are close behind at about 20 percent.
"The basic problem is housing costs," said Andrew Beveridge, a Queens College professor and demographer.
Beveridge says while the city's population and rents keep increasing, housing subsidies are disappearing and the number of rent-stabilized apartments keeps falling. Mayor Bill de Blasio has made increasing affordable housing a major goal.
"He is trying to do the right thing, and I think Bloomberg, to some extent, also tried to do the right thing," Beveridge said. "The trouble is, the market itself will determine it, and without extra cash on the barrel head, it's very difficult to generate housing that's affordable."
Crowded households are concentrated in neighborhoods with large immigrant populations. Research by City Comptroller Scott Stringer shows that 1.5 million New Yorkers live in crowded or severely crowded homes, and it's not just the poor.
"We also need housing for young people who come to our city," Stringer said. "They graduate, we want to keep them here, but they're being pushed out."
The Community Service Society says 14 percent of low-income New Yorkers moved in with others because of financial problems, a precursor to another problem, homelessness.