400 spots open on waitlist for affordable units at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, from $731/month

March 11, 2019

Image courtesy of El Barrio’s Artspace PS109. Photo by Christopher Lopez.

A housing lottery has opened for 400 spots on the wait list for residential units at El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 at 215 East 99th Street in East Harlem. Built in 1899, the limestone-and-brick neighborhood landmark was a school building until 1996. In 2015 it became El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, a project that transformed the then-abandoned public school building into a housing complex for local artists with affordable live/work housing for artists and their families and 10,000 square feet of complementary space for arts organizations. Qualifying New Yorkers earning between 40 and 60 percent of the area median income can apply for apartments which range from a $731/month studio to a $1,348/month two-bedroom.

ps 109, affordable housing lottery, east harlem

Minneapolis-based nonprofit Artspace began developing affordable artist housing 35 years ago. Today, they have properties in more than 30 cities, often working in cities or neighborhoods that are struggling economically and would benefit from a creative influx. The PS109 building is the organization’s first project in NYC; their end goal is “to keep working artists living in their own rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in very expensive cities such as New York.”

The PS109 school building was saved from demolition by the community and designated a city landmark. When Artspace first proposed a project in the site in 2004, it had been sitting vacant for ten years. The gut renovation of the building cost $52 million, financed through a combination of federal, state and city tax credits, some loans, and private donations. Amenities at the building include elevators, on-site laundry, a courtyard, a gallery and performing arts spaces including a black box theater and a dance studio (additional fees apply for performing arts spaces).

Qualifying New Yorkers earning between 40 and 60 percent of the area median income can apply for apartments which range from a $731/month studio to a $1,348/month two-bedroom, until April 11, 2019. Qualified applicants will be required to meet additional selection criteria. Applicants who live in New York City receive a general preference for apartments. Complete details on how to apply are available here (pdf). Questions regarding this offer must be referred to NYC’s Housing Connect department by dialing 311.

If you don’t qualify for the housing lotteries mentioned, visit CityRealty.com’s no-fee rentals page for other apartment deals in the city.


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