Durst scion to provide affordable artist housing

July 27, 2013 02:00PM

Two nonprofit organizations, one of which is led by a member of the Durst family, are teaming up to provide affordable housing to artists, Crain’s reported.

Through the program, arts group Chashama and community development organization Mid-Bronx Senior Citizens Council will provide discounted apartments to 10 artists who agree to volunteer in the community. The tenants would receive a discount of up to 15 percent off the rent in exchange for volunteering for 20 hours a month at one of the several community programs run by the Council.

The apartments will be in one of 28 buildings owned by the Council. Monthly rents range from $886 a month for a studio to $1,325 a month for a three-bedroom.

The two nonprofits are in the midst of selecting the artists and hope they will move into the housing in September.

“There is a great need for artist housing in New York,” said Chashama founder Anita Durst, who never worked for the real estate firm currently chaired by her father, Douglas. “The artists have to have a desire to work in the community.”

“We think the artists will add a positive element to our programs,” said Walter Puryear, project manager at the Council, who added that he hopes an influx of community-active artists can help transform the South Bronx. [Crain’s] – James Comtois