Photo via Wiki Commons
Affordable housing is one of the hottest topics in the real estate market these days. It all started with Mayor de Blasio’s plan to preserve or build 300,000 affordable units by 2026, which has resulted in a slew of new lotteries, a recent update to the lottery policy to ease the process for immigrants and low-income New Yorkers, and a record number of affordable homes for seniors and homeless New Yorkers. But the topic is not without its issues, with many still wondering if the city is doing enough for affordability and if some of these units are really affordable. Whatever your opinion, there’s no doubt that affordable housing in NYC can get quite confusing. Ahead, 6sqft breaks down the different types of programs, how you can qualify and apply, and what happens if and when you get in.
Everything you need to know about affordable housing
Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash
Don’t let apartment life stop you from hosting! Forget the turkey and tradition, or start one of your own with a November (or December) dinner to remember. You can even tackle the classic Thanksgiving, or have a low-key, festive “Friendsgiving.” The key is to find your own collection of small-space, less-fuss entertaining ideas and go-to goods. Below, a few suggestions to get you started.
Ideas for a holiday feast, apartment-style, this way
Photo by Matt Nelson on Unsplash
Many New Yorkers live in spaces that barely appear large enough for their human occupants, but this doesn’t prevent them from adopting dogs of all breeds and sizes. By one estimate, there are more than half a million dogs in New York City (that’s more than the human population of Atlanta and most U.S. cities). To find out which dogs are best for NYC’s finicky indoor and outdoor environments, 6sqft reached out to Lauren McDevitt, the founder of Good Dog, which is, in essence, an online platform designed to promote responsible breeding and make it easier for people looking to adopt a dog to avoid scams. Ahead, McDevitt shares some tips for New Yorkers looking to adopt a canine companion and helps us put together a list of the best dog breeds for apartment dwellers (French Bulldogs, Boxers, and Golden Retrievers all made the cut!).
Check out the full list
After finally finding that perfect NYC apartment, it’s time to prove you can actually pay for it. Many NYC newbies and even natives can’t meet landlords’ strict criteria, like having a high credit score or a salary that equals 40-45 times the monthly rent, for example. Which is where guarantors come in–a co-signer who guarantees payment on the lease if it otherwise can’t be made. But this is an entirely additional process, from finding someone who fits the bill to gathering all of the necessary paperwork. To make the process simpler, 6sqft has put together a guide of everything you need to know about using guarantor and some tricks of the trade.
Find out the guarantor basics
Photo via The Sill
There’s no doubt that plants are good for you. Most scientific research agrees that being near green spaces can improve mental health, and gardening can act as a stress reliever. But it can be hard to get your green thumb on, especially if you’re worried about your pet chowing down on a houseplant that might hurt them. We spoke to Erin Marino from The Sill (an NYC-based plant delivery service specializing in providing greenery to city dwellers) to learn about which houseplants won’t harm our furry friends.
Find out more…
Image by furtwangl / Flickr
6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, we cover everything you need to consider when raising chickens in the city.
In a city where simply finding a balcony large enough for a pot of basil can be a challenge, one may be surprised to discover that chicken coops can be found across all five boroughs. Chickens were once primarily kept by older city residents, including many who come from places in the world where a backyard supply of fresh eggs is taken for granted. More recently, everyone from Park Slope housewives to Bushwick hipsters appears to be embracing the backyard chicken craze.
More on Raising City Chickens
Closet photo via Flickr cc; Photo of Karin and Marie courtesy of Karin Socci
Between her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing,” and new Netflix show, “Tidying Up,” over the past five years, Marie Kondo—a diminutive Japanese organizing guru—has changed how people around the world think about decluttering their homes. But Kondo isn’t just another interior designer offering tips on storage. She believes that one’s home has a direct impact on their lives and even their personal relationships. This is why she approaches tidying from the heart and not simply the mind. As she says on her website, “Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy.”
With so many of us living in homes that are almost as tiny as those in Tokyo where Kondo is based and developed her method, it’s no surprise that New Yorkers have been eagerly embracing Kondo’s advice. It is also likely no coincidence that one of the only certified Master KonMari consultants in North America, Karin Socci, happens to serve the New York City area. 6sqft recently reached out to Socci, founder of The Serene Home, to learn more about the KonMari method and how she helps New Yorkers put it into practice.
Hear from Karin here
Photo © Daxiao Productions – Fotolio
6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, we’ve put together the top five reasons it makes sense to move in the winter.
Until the end of WWII, moving day in New York City was May 1. Today, many people continue to move on this date and in the four months following, but if you’re a renter looking for great value, more options, and lower stress, the very best move dates fall in the winter months. In this article, we outline why a winter move makes sense and how to prepare for one.
The top five reasons you should move in the winter
Image: Wikimedia Commons
As long as Fido’s not a ferret, of course. You may not know this, but you could be able to keep a pet in a “no pets” apartment–legally. New York City’s Pet Law, established in 1983, may actually override your landlord’s kibosh on your kitty or pup, as long as certain criteria are met. Your pet can’t be one of the many, many critters on the city’s “banned” list, which includes the aforementioned ferrets, pot-bellied pigs, most snakes, hedgehogs, and squirrels.
So how can I keep Fluffy in my no-pets condo?
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