Columbia campus, via Pixabay
If you can’t bear the idea of living in the dorms for another year, you’re not alone. Unless you happen to go to Columbia where over 90 percent of students live on campus, there’s a high likelihood you’ll be searching for your own apartment at some point during your college years, just like 57 percent of students at NYU and 74 percent at The New School. And if you’re like most students, you’ll be looking for an apartment far from downtown that strikes the right balance between affordability, commutability, and access to services.
To help you make the smartest decision possible, 6sqft has compiled a list of affordable, student-friendly neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn. By New York City standards, all of these are both safe (e.g., reported fewer than 1.5447 crimes per 1000 people in June 2018) and within reach (e.g., on average, three-bedroom units can still be rented for less than $5,000 per month). Using July 2018 City Realty data on average neighborhood rents, we’ve broken down how much you’ll pay on average to live in a three-bedroom shared unit in each of these neighborhoods. We’ve also provided average commute times to both Union Square, which is easily walkable to NYU, The New School, and Cooper Union, and to the Columbia University campus.
Get the guide
Waterside Plaza, a former Mitchell-Lama Housing Program-funded rental project. Photo via Flickr cc.
A high percentage of working New Yorkers do not qualify for low-income rentals yet still struggle to pay the city’s exceptionally high rents on the private market. While this may seem like a new problem, in fact, it is something legislators and housing advocates have been attempting to resolve for over 70 years. Indeed, this is how the affordable rentals and co-op units offered under the Mitchell-Lama program first came into being, and 68 years after its launch, Mitchell-Lama is still offering middle-income renters and buyers access to affordable housing.
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Image via Flickr CC
If you’ve ever applied for affordable housing in New York City, you already know that the process can feel more like an IRS audit than a typical housing application. While owners and management companies are empowered to ask for a lot of paperwork, to qualify for an affordable housing unit, you’ll need to do more than provide recent pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements. You’ll need to share several years of financial, housing, and employment information, and if the developer doesn’t think you’ve provided enough evidence to quality, they can always ask for more evidence as the selection process unfolds. Fortunately, as of July 1st, the process of applying for affordable housing and the baseline credit criteria needed to qualify just got a bit easier for applicants.
Everything you need to know
Clear Comfort, the Alice Austen House, photo by Alice Austen, via NYPL
When most people think about gay New York, they naturally think about all the historic sites located in Greenwich Village and its surrounding vicinity. In fact, the LGBTQ community has long lived and made history citywide from the Bronx to Staten Island. To mark the 2018 NYC Pride Celebration, which will take place from June 14 to 24 with the famed Pride March happening this Sunday, 6sqft has compiled a list of just a few historic gay residences located well beyond Greenwich Village.
Learn about 7 of the most influential sites
Photo via Pexels
Everyone loves kids, right? While this may be true in most cases, when it comes to renting and buying apartments, kids can be a deal breaker. To be clear, in NYC, owners cannot discriminate against renters with children, but there are a few exceptions. For example, co-ops, which are free to come up with their own selection criteria so long as it doesn’t overtly discriminate, can privilege quiet tenants over potentially loud tenants. If you have a couple of toddlers or even teens who look like they might be prone to hosting all-night parties or jam sessions in your living room, you might find yourself looking for housing elsewhere. But don’t be discouraged. After all, New York is home to more kids than any other U.S. city.
As of 2016, over 21% of New York City residents were under 18 and more than 6.6% were under five. With roughly 1.8 million infants, toddlers, kids, tweens, and teens living here, most city buildings are home to children and adolescents. The challenge facing parents is finding a building that is not only tolerant of kids but has the facilities, location, and support needed to make one’s childrearing experience easier rather than harder. This 6sqft Guide offers tips for prospective and new parents, as well as those who are not new to parenting but are new to the city, who are looking to rent or buy in a child-friendly building and neighborhood.
Our full guide to finding a child-friendly home in NYC
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Currently sleeping on a mattress with no box spring? Worse yet, a blow-up mattress? Is your night table a repurposed milk crate and are your bookshelves fashioned out of salvaged bricks and found lumber? Although all these features can be surprisingly charming when paired with the right accessories, there comes a time in one’s life when one wants or needs a bit more. But even if you opt to go full-on Ikea, the cost of furnishing a small one-bedroom from the ground up will likely cost well over $3,000 and that is only if you opt for a discount Bråthult over Vallentuna sofa.
For anyone faced with the challenge of furnishing an entire apartment—either for the first time or because you’re only in NYC for a limited amount of time—there is now a solution: “fast interiors.” Rather than buy, you can now rent your furniture for three months or for several years. While the rise of furniture rentals may sound unusual, in fact, it is an obvious extension of the sharing economy that has been growing, especially in highly populated urban areas, for the past decade. An underlying tenant of the sharing economy is that renting often makes more sense the owning. But does it? Ahead, we explore how and where to rent furniture and the relative short- and long-term benefits of renting over buying.
A guide to furniture rentals
Photo via Felix Castor/Flickr
As recently reported on 6sqft, the number of vacant homes in New York City continues to rise. The Census Bureau’s Housing and Vacancy Survey found that the number of unoccupied apartments citywide has grown 35 percent since 2014. While a majority of the city’s 247,977 empty units are empty for a legitimate reason—for example, they are currently awaiting the arrival of a new occupant, being renovated, or are seasonally occupied—among the city’s currently vacant homes are a small percentage of homes known as “zombie homes.” Usually vacant and deteriorating, in some cases, these homes have been abandoned by owners who are behind on their mortgage payments and in other cases, the homes have already been taken over by a lender.
The issue has become so problematic that last April, the city —prompted by the passing of the New York State Zombie Property and Foreclosure Prevention Act of 2016, or “Zombie Law”—decided it was time to tackle the zombie home problem head-on.
What’s going on?
A typist wearsing a guaze mask in 1918.Via the National Archives and Records Administration
May 2018 marks the centennial of one of the world’s greatest health crisis in history—the 1918 flu pandemic. In the end, anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million people worldwide would die as a result of the pandemic. New York was by no means spared. During the flu pandemic, which stretched from late 1918 to early 1920, over 20,000 New Yorkers’ lives were lost. However, in many respects, the crisis also brought into relief what was already working with New York’s health system by 1918. Indeed, compared to many other U.S. cities, including Boston, New York suffered fewer losses and historians suggest that the health department’s quick response is largely to thank for the city’s relatively low number of deaths.
While immigration, urban planning, and the forces of gentrification are certainly key factors in how NYC’s neighborhoods have been shaped, New Yorkers’ patterns of work, their unions, and in some instances, even their employers have also played a role in the development of several of the city’s established neighborhoods. To mark May Day, 6sqft decided to investigate two of the city neighborhoods that were quite literally made for workers—the Van Cortlandt Village area of the Bronx and the Steinway neighborhood in Astoria, Queens.
Learn all about it
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A new PEW Research Center study has found that one-in-three adults are now “doubled up.” Some of these shared households are traditional multigenerational households—for example, a married couple with children who have chosen to live in a home belonging to one of their parents. By definition, however, shared households also include any households with at least one “extra adult” who is not the household head, the spouse or unmarried partner of the head, or an 18- to 24-year-old student. As a result, among the one-and-three adults who are now doubled up are adults sharing households with other adults to whom they are not related, adults sharing with same-generation siblings, and most surprisingly, a growing cohort of elderly parents moving into their adult children’s homes.
What’s the deal?