Roughly 1 in 10 rent-regulated apartments were vacant in 2021, Census survey data reveals — far more than the 61,000 vacancies landlords reported to the state.

by Sam Rabiyah, The City

Tens of thousands of vacant rent-stabilized apartments landlords reported to New York State in 2021 likely understates the true number that are empty.

That’s the contention of officials at the city’s housing agency, who shared with THE CITY previously unreleased figures that show 88,830 stabilized apartments were vacant in 2021 — far more than the 61,000 tallied by the state.

Apartment buildings high on a bluff seen from Overlook Terrace in the densely populated Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan in New York

The city Department of Housing Preservation and Development based its estimate on survey data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau last year. HPD calculated in its 2021 Housing and Vacancy Survey analysis that New York City has 1 million stabilized units in all, mostly in buildings constructed before 1974 or those built more recently with tax subsidies.

That’s roughly 1 in 10 rent-stabilized apartments.

The estimate, shared with THE CITY by HPD’s chief researcher, was not included in the “Selected Initial Findings” report based on the same data, which HPD presented to the City Council in May.

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