It’s the “Yes We Can,” of 2010:The Rent is Too Damn High. Breakfast lunch, and dinner, the rent is too damn high. Jimmy McMillan, the fearless, bearded leader of the Rent is Too Damn High Party, has raised high-rent awareness across the country. He just received the ultimate accolade: his very own SNL spoof. But little did non-New Yorkers know he’s been a statewide figure since 1994.
Here on this election day, we learn more about the man behind the most hilarious political slogan to date, what his party’s all about, and how to find out (before you vote) if your rent really is too damn high.
The Man Behind the Frosty Beard
- He’s a Vietnam Vet and was exposed to Agent Orange but suffered “no psychological after-effects.”
- He supports gay marriage and recently stated during a debate, “If you want to marry a shoe, I’ll marry them.”
- Monikers include: Jimmy Mack, the Black Hulk Hogan, Papa Smurf, and Rambo
- He’s a martial arts instructor and former postal worker
- He’s run for office six times since 1993
- He keeps nunchucks in the back of his Honda CRV
The Rent is Too Damn High Party Platform
The rent is just too damn high in New York City and should be lowered to relieve stress, end poverty, and increase employment for New York residents. McMillan proposes a rent freeze of four years, a tax cut for home and property owners, and free four-year college education.
In short, the rent is too damn high party promises: A roof over your head, food on your table, and money in your pocket. Plain and simple.
How damn high is the rent anyway? Is it:
According to The Real Estate Group of New York’s (TREGNY) September 2010 Rental Market Report, the most expensive studio in Tribeca, a chic, star-studded lower-Manhattan neighborhood costs $4,345. Too much? Head to Harlem where the least expensive studio costs $1,383.
How High is Too Damn High for McMillan: For the last decade, McMillan has not even paying this rent he claims is “too damn high.” According to the New York Times, his landlady admired his service in Vietnam so much; she employed him to do maintenance work in exchange for rent and when she passed away, her heirs followed suit.
McMillan may not have to pay rent. But you do. And we’re all wondering, when it comes to New York – just how high is damn high?
Just Too Damn High for Just About Anyone (Manhattan):
Mean Rental Prices according to the TREGNY October 2010 report
· Studio (non-doorman) $2,145
· One-bedroom (non-doorman) $2729
· Two-bedroom: $5, 243
Douglas Elliman of Prudential reports that the average Manhattan rental costs $3,812. Whether you’re Democrat, Republican, or Libertarian we can all agree that $3,000 on average for an apartment is way too damn high.
The Wall Street Journal suggests that tenants shouldn’t spend more than 35% of their annual income on rent. So if the average Manhattan rental is $3812, you’d have to make approximately $130,000 to reside comfortably in the center of the City that Never Sleeps.
In a haze from post-traumatic sticker shock, you’re probably ‘hopping to’ the Burroughs looking to sign a lease on a vintage Williamsburg brownstone. But not too fast. Brooklyn is on an upswing.
Bordering on Too Damn High in Brooklyn:
· Studio: $1400
· One bedroom: $1600 – $2,400
· Two-Bedroom: $2,600-4,000
Use PadMapper; Find Out if Your Rent is Too Damn High:
First figure out 35% of your monthly income (including rental insurance) to find out the max you can spend on rent per month. Then filter the Padmapper listings to find the max and minimum rent in your neighborhood.
It’s still gonna be high. But hopefully not too damn high.