The Real Deal New York

Gotham West struggles to find middle-income New Yorkers

A number of the Hell’s Kitchen complex’s units sit empty
September 14, 2014 02:00PM

It’s getting harder and harder to find middle-income earners in super-pricey Manhattan. The result: a number of “affordable” middle-income apartments in Hell’s Kitchen are sitting empty, as developers struggle to find residents who fit the income criteria.

While inventory remains extremely tight across the city, the Gotham West complex has vacant one-bedrooms that cost $2,509 – well below the average rent in Manhattan, according to the New York Post.

To qualify for that one-bedroom, potential renters must make between $88,102 and $95,865 a year.

The building, located between West 45th and West 44th streets, also has studio and two- and three-bedroom vacancies.

“It’s an unusual problem to have, but it’s a good problem because we have the apartments ready,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer told the Post. [NYP]Christopher Cameron

  • Jonathan Arnold

    What a retarded comment by the borough president.

  • I’m not sure what’s more fucked up: that earning $88,000 a year qualifies someone for affordable housing or that even at $88,000 a year, the asking rent exceeds most people’s budgets earning that income.

    • irock

      I don’t understand your comment. $2,100/month is 30% of that annual income. That rent is what is considered affordable. Many NYers pay much more than that.

      • $2,100 isn’t actually affordable for a lot of people, and the expected rent on those apartments is $2,509.

        Just because many people are paying more than that does not make it a good rent.

        This pricing and income requirement speaks to the crisis of housing. Building $2,500 a month one bedrooms is not a solution to the housing problem or the income disparity in the city.

      • JB

        Gross.. That calculation is based off of gross income. It’s very irresponsible to base the amount of rent you can afford on money you’re not actually receiving.

        $88,000 a year translates to $4750.00 a month after taxes. $2500 is more than half that persons monthly income.

        • Not a HUD employee

          I believe that is how HUD calculates income and affordability, using gross income.

          • Victoria

            You are both absolutely correct. HUD does use gross income, not net, when qualifying potential renters for the affordable units; however, it SHOULD be off of net because as JB mentioned, the rent comes to over half of a person’s take home pay! It would be awfully challenging to get by on what is left…

  • Crian Bashman

    If these affordable units actually do exist, you would think you could find info about them online easily, but you can’t. If someone in the industry can’t find info on these available units, how do they expect non-real estate people to find them?

  • StraightDownTheMiddle

    Maybe when most people who make $88K or more per year go out looking for an apartment, the idea of signing up for handout doesn’t occur to them. I think it’s called being middle class – you pull your own weight. I can see why this concept has Gale Brewer and people like her stumped.

  • Art

    Hello a good problem to have!?!?
    $2509 is NOT AFFORDABLE for most NY’ers. The median income in NY is $48k something is wrong when someone has to pay $30k a year just for damn rent in NYC! Buildings require 40x the years rent to qualify and get approved.
    Who makes $120k a year out of school better yet in general…anywhere?
    Terribly sad as most of the country own homes worth less than $500k and if renting a house for a family pay less than $2000 a month!
    NYC wake up a mass exodus awaits…why pay these prices to live in filth, noise and cramped quarters when there is a better way and lifestyle elsewhere and why would anyone want to live in HELL’s kitchen???