Blackstone launches Stuy Town housing lottery

Rents for affordable units range from $1,210 for a studio to $4,560 for a five-bedroom pad

Mar.March 01, 2016 11:47 AM

As of today, New Yorkers can apply for affordable units at Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village through an online housing lottery.

The lottery, open from March 1 through March 31, is part of an agreement with the Blackstone Group and City Hall to keep 5,000 units at the complex affordable for 20 years in exchange for subsidies.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many affordable apartments will be ready for move-in in April. Blackstone and Ivanhoe Cambridge bought the complex for $5.3 billion in December with public backing.

“The Stuyvesant Town lottery is the result of the largest preservation deal in New York City history,” City Councilman Dan Garodnick said in a statement. “This community will continue to be home to middle-class people, and all qualified New Yorkers should strongly consider taking advantage of this opportunity.”

According to a full-page advertisement in AM New York today, rents for the affordable units will range from $1,210 for a studio (reserved for people earning between $36,300 and $48,400 per year) and $4,560 for a five-bedroom apartment (for a five-person household making $136,800 to $153,945 annually). In the middle of the spectrum, three bedroom apartments come in two affordability categories: a rent of $1,796 for households making between $53,880 and $80,160 (depending on household size) and a rent of $3,704 for households making between $111,120 and $165,330.

Per Housing Development Corporation policy, current Stuy Town tenants will be given no priority in the lottery. “New York City’s Housing Development Corporation has required that the lottery be available to all New Yorkers without preference. While we appreciate the spirit of inclusiveness, we are disappointed that we are unable to provide a preferred option for the residents of Stuyvesant Town – Peter Cooper Village,” Blackstone said in a statement.

Under its agreement with the city, Blackstone committed itself to keeping 5,000 units at the complex affordable until the year 2035. When apartments become de-regulated and the tally of affordable units falls below 5,000, those vacant units will be placed in the affordable housing lottery (instead of being rented out at market rate).

According to a source, the lottery will randomly select 15,000 applicants to be placed on a wait list. The wait list will be scrapped and renewed every two years, meaning after March 31 the next chance to apply for affordable units in Stuy Town will likely be March 2018.

“This is the next step in our efforts to preserve this community for middle class people, and we are happy the program is now up and running,” said Susan Steinberg, President of the Stuyvesant Town Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association.

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