The Real Deal New York

Want an affordable apartment in NYC? Fat chance

More than 48,000 people applied for 124 available apartments in a new Sugar Hill development

November 21, 2014 12:30PM

A rendering of the new Sugar Hill development

A rendering of the new Sugar Hill development at West 155th Street and St. Nicholas Boulevard, Harlem

The odds do not seem to be in the favor of those seeking affordable apartments in New York City.

Tens of thousands of New Yorkers who are vying for affordable housing spots across the city are dependent on housing lotteries, and chances of winning those are extremely slim, according to the New York Daily News.

At a new affordable housing development in Harlem’s Sugar Hill neighborhood, for example, 48,428 people entered a lottery for 98 affordable units and 25 apartments for homeless families, the newspaper reported. This meant that there were approximately 436 eligible applicants per unit.

Studios at the complex go for as low as $349 a month, while families of six can rent a three-bedroom apartment for $1,588 a month.

The average income of a single applicant was roughly $25,400. The average four-person household made $34,780. More than half of the applicants had incomes between $10,000 and $30,000, according to the newspaper.

The complex at St. Nicholas Avenue and 155th Street was built by nonprofit Broadway Housing Communities. The development — which cost $89.2 million to construct — includes a children’s museum and a pre-K and childcare center.

Thus far, the city has created and preserved 10,846 of the promised 200,000 affordable units. [NYDN] — Claire Moses

  • Jo

    89.2 million for a building that only has 124 units? It wouldn’t cost that much to build 124 homes. I believe that is a gross misuse of the funding for affordable housing. I wonder if 89.2 million is the correct figure.

  • Bullied and Damaged by Rent Re

    I used to have that housing connect website set as one of my homepage tabs and the Bronx and some parts of BK would still be taking applications for months but nice areas like this would be filled up real quick.

    Everyone wants to live in fancy neighborhoods in new buildings at a reduced price. Most of NYers however live on their own dime at rent they can afford to pay in areas that are two-fare zones or worse in Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, whatever.

    The concern of people who have basic jobs is that whenever the news like THIS ARTICLE harangue some invisible evil for the lack of something – the question is – who is going to be paying for this – and even though there is always punitive reports on owners – the regular people – like in Queens – don’t believe that all this negative press coverage isn’t going to cost the regular people. They don’t feel assured and they are not attracted to the Flying Monkeys invitation to blame the Greedy Slumlords because these folks would never live in these buildings – they’re renting if they don’t own from modest homeowners themselves.

    So maybe it’s a safe and sound strategy to compartmentalize and label the reality as “affordable housing,” “greedy (small) landlord” because the voter turnout was so low last time.

    But I have never heard strangers complaining to each other about the city at the supermarket, on the bus, at Target before.

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