View across West 133rd Street, where three of the buildings are located
Now that de Blasio’s made a pretty significant dent in his goal of building or preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade, there seem to be more middle-income housing lotteries opening, in addition to the influx of low-income lotteries that began popping up with a vengeance at the end of last year. The latest offers 36 newly rehabilitated units across five Harlem buildings, running from the border of Morningside Heights at 116th Street up to 138th Street. They’re priced between $1,156 for studios, $1,562 for one-bedrooms, $1,591-$2,611 for two-bedrooms, and $1,831-$3,009 for three-bedrooms.
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Applications are now being accepted for 60 newly constructed rental apartments at 1191 Boston Road in the Morrisania section of the Bronx. The 90,000-square-foot development is situated between East 167th and 168th Streets and will exclusively house studio apartments priced at a monthly rent of $550/month. The building is geared for low-income individuals and formerly homeless single adults. To qualify for an apartment, applicants must fall within annual income ranges of $18,000 to $35,280 per year.
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Up-and-comer “It” neighborhood Mott Haven in the South Bronx kicks off a brand new housing lottery today with 135 new rentals up for grabs at 500 Union Avenue. The 14-story residence, dubbed the Crossroads II Plaza, has been dedicated to below-market rate housing and is part of the larger three-building Crossroad Plaza project, which includes a include a 21,278-square-foot community facility and 37,687 square feet of commercial space. Affordable apartments have been priced between $538-$861 for one-bedrooms, $655-$1,042 for two-bedrooms, and $749-$1,196 for three-bedrooms.
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The building itself, designed by Issac & Stern Architects, may be pretty unremarkable, the same for the block on which it’s located, but 505 Saint Mark’s Avenue is in a prime Crown Heights location and offers some great amenities. It has 147 brand new units and is just steps off foodie haven Franklin Avenue and right around the corner from trendy food/beer hall Berg’n.
While the market-rate apartments are pretty par for the course (a one-bedroom goes for about $2,500/month and a two-bedroom for around $3,600), a housing lottery has launched today for 30 affordable units, including $913 one-bedrooms and $1,065 two-bedrooms for individuals and households earning between $31,303 and $51,780 annually.
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A common complaint about the city’s affordable housing lotteries is that they don’t often pertain to middle-income New Yorkers who are struggling to pay market-rate rents just the same. But here’s the chance for this often-overlooked group to get in on the action — a lottery launches tomorrow for 55 middle-income apartments at 325 East 25th Street. Not only do the rents range from $1,715/month studios to $2,216/month two-bedrooms, but the building is located in a prime Murray Hill location just north of Gramercy and right in the mix of restaurants and bars (okay, maybe just bars) for which the ‘hood is known.
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Starting Tuesday, four brand new affordable apartments will up for grabs through the city’s Housing Connect program. Located in quickly hipsterfying East Williamburg, the building at 30-42 Orient Avenue is sited kitty corner to Cooper Park and is made up of two constructions housing a total of 18 units. For those who qualify, there are two one-bedrooms available with a rent of $947/month, and two two-bedrooms going for $1,072/month. The building is also conveniently located just few blocks from the Graham stop on the L Train, and the B24 and B43 buses also serve the area.
more details here
It’s not too often that affordable housing opportunities arise in prime downtown areas like West Soho, but starting tomorrow, 70 Charlton Street will begin accepting applications for 29 of its below-market-rate apartments. The Beyer Blinder Belle-designed building is of the luxury persuasion, developed by none other than Extell. In total there are 116 residences; 92 are high-end co-ops (currently priced between $1.6M and $7.1M) with interiors crafted by Workshop/APD in one building, and the rest affordable units situated in a connected building. According to the Housing Connect website, studios will start at $833/month, one-bedrooms will go for $895/month and two-bedrooms for $1,082/month.
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Last August 6sqft reported that about 696 applicants were applying for each of the city’s available affordable housing units, and those odds have gotten even longer. So far this year 2.54 million applicants have applied via the city’s Housing Connect website for 2,628 affordable apartments, which puts the odds at about 1,000 to 1. The number of hopefuls vying for units like the 181 well-below-market rate apartments–from $559/month studios to $3,012 two-bedrooms–available at Pacific Park’s 461 Dean Street has increased dramatically since 2013, when 364,000 applicants applied for around 2,300 units, reports the New York Post.
Who’s included in those depressing odds?
The city’s 421a program, which provides tax breaks of up to 25 years to new residential buildings that reserve at least 20 percent of units as affordable housing, expired in January, leaving Mayor de Blasio concerned for his push to add/preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade. According to a REBNY report last year, 421-a is responsible for 5,484 affordable apartments and 13,801 market-rate units in the pipeline, and if it’s not renewed some of them could end up as high-end luxury condos or lost forever as housing for low- and middle-income New Yorkers. Critics of the program, however, feel that it actually destroys affordable housing by virtue of itself, giving unfair tax breaks to the wealthiest developers, and the Mayor doesn’t disagree.
The Real Deal reports today that de Blasio “implored the state’s affordable housing developers to pressure Albany to pass a reformed 421a program before the legislative session comes to a close next month.” He said, “When it comes to the 421a program, I’ve said many times, the way it was configured in past years didn’t make sense anymore. It wasn’t fair to the taxpayers. It wasn’t helping us create the affordable housing we needed. It focused too much on luxury buildings.” But considering his “icy relationship” with Governor Cuomo, it’s definitely a toss up.
Lead image via Jason Farrar
Like Stuyvesant Town, the Riverton Square residential development in Harlem opened in 1947 as an affordable complex for World War II veterans and was built by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. But unlike Stuy Town (and Met Life’s Parkchester in the Bronx), black and Hispanic tenants weren’t barred from renting in Riverton. According to the Times, over the years the seven-building site was a sought-after address for the middle-class and was home to such notables as jazz pianist Billy Taylor, former Mayor David Dinkins, and former vice president of Motwon Records Suzanne de Passe.
But in 2005, again similar to its downtown counterpart, Riverton was sold to Stellar Management, who tried to swiftly remove long-term tenants and replace them with higher-paying residents. Unable to convert the rent-stabilized units to market-rate and saddled with debt, Stellar lost Riverton to its lenders in 2008. This past December, after nearly a decade in limbo, the 12-acre site was sold to A&E Real Estate Holdings for $201 million in a deal with the city which, like the recent terms at Stuy Town, dictated that 975 of the complex’s 1,229 units be reserved for working- and middle-class families for 30 years. In return, the buyer will receive about $100 million worth of tax breaks and incentives. The waitlist is now open for these affordable units, and 7,500 randomly selected applicants will earn themselves a spot.
Find out if you qualify here