The cost of living is crippling not only the low but the middle class and a major part of that is housing. The majority can get by without health insurance but a roof is a necessity. My great-gran is looking for a two bedroom apartment in Queens. She found one in a house a few doors down from the one her parents were living in when she was born. The cost is $2200/mo. If that weren't high enough, the tenant must pay for their own heating plus $100/mo if they have a W/D. Those additions bring the rental alone to about $2500. They earn decent money but it leaves little to be saved so it can be anticipated that it will be a long time before they have enough to get their own place. Bad times and a loss of job could be devastating and they'd walk away with nothing. A mortgage would be in the same ballpark and at least they'd get something back.
I'm relating the two situations because in NY at least, the high cost is at least partially due to lower priced places being allocated to housing the newcomers.
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