Lottery launched for affordable apartments in ST/PCV

Mayor de Blasio speaks at the announcement of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village’s latest sale in October. Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Mayor de Blasio speaks at the announcement of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village’s latest sale in October. (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

By Sabina Mollot

People who’ve been wondering how to get their hands on an affordable apartment in Stuyvesant Town won’t have to wait any longer to get a shot at it.

As of today, Tuesday, March 1, the application for a city-run lottery for the 5,000 units that will eventually be made available, has begun. The way it works, since there’s no telling when each of the units will actually become vacant and available, is that a maximum of 15,000 names of applicants will be put onto a waiting list. Applications will be accepted through March 31 on a website, pcvstlottery.com, and can also be mailed. To request an application by mail, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, 243 Fifth Avenue, Box 425, New York, NY, 10016.

The process does not give any preference to existing tenants of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, which is something market rate-paying residents had hoped for. Instead, the only preference given will to be to applicants who currently live in the five boroughs, with their applications being reviewed first.

On the fact that no preference will be given to tenants, a spokesperson for Blackstone, Paula Chirhart, said this was the decision of the city’s HDC (Housing Development Corporation).

“While we appreciate the spirit of inclusiveness, we are disappointed that we were not able to provide a preferred option for residents of Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village,” said Chirhart.

Council Member Dan Garodnick also noted that “the city would not allow that scenario.”

However, he said that he asked Blackstone to waive the fees for breaking a lease for any current tenant that does get picked and for the owner to pay existing tenants’ costs of moving to another unit, and Blackstone agreed.

As for the apartments that will be made available, they will all be units that have been renovated at some point, according to Blackstone. The first batch of units will be available to rent in April.

Rick Hayduk speaks at Saturday’s event.

ST/PCV General Manager Rick Hayduk (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

In a letter to tenants, Stuyvesant Town General Manager Rick Hayduk said, “Today, Peter Cooper Village-Stuyvesant Town launched the affordable housing program that was announced in October, 2015 as part of the sale.  This program will ensure that 5,000 of PCVST’s units remain affordable to moderate and middle income New Yorkers.  We are proud of this program and are grateful to the City of New York and New York City Housing Development Corporation for their partnerships in putting this together.”

While there’s no way to know exactly the frequency of affordable apartments becoming available, affordable apartments have been turning over at ST/PCV at a rate of 300 a year.

Meanwhile, there’s of course no wait at all for anyone willing to pay market rate, with business at the leasing office still being open as usual.

The waiting list for affordable units will be used for a period of two years, but then, while the lottery will still be open, would-be residents will have to reapply. There was no explanation given for this rule on the lottery website. Additionally, if applications are sent anywhere but the lottery website or the aforementioned address, they won’t be counted. With the HDC’s supervision, the applications will be entered into a computer system that will make random selections. Applicants will be subject to a credit check and may be called to verify information on income.

The affordable units have been cheered as “the mother of all preservation deals” by Mayor Bill de Blasio. When the sale to the Blackstone Group and Ivanhoe Cambridge was announced, the transaction called for 90 percent of the 5,000 preserved units being made available to residents earning no more than 165 percent of area median income (AMI.) For a family of three this amounts to $128,205. For families of three earning between 96,150-$128,205, rent for a two-bedroom would be $3,205. The remaining 10 percent will be available to those earning no more than 80 percent of AMI or $62,150 for a family of three. A family of three earning between $46,620 and $62,160 would pay $1,554 for a two-bedroom.

The city has said within the eligible income ranges, none of the new tenants will pay more than 30 percent of their incomes in rent. Household income includes things like hourly wages and tips, Social Security and child support.

In keeping with lottery guidelines, the lottery will be advertised throughout the month of March in four local newspapers, including Town & Village. The others are amNew York, New York Amsterdam News and El Diario.

Blackstone got around $225 million in tax breaks and a loan that doesn’t have to be repaid to the city for this arrangement, which preserves affordability for 20 years. The selling price of the property wound up being a record-breaking $5.45 billion, out of which Blackstone paid $5.3 billion. The previous figure assumes the full amount of transfer taxes.

There were also some protections for the 1,400 “Roberts” tenants included in the deal, specifically, that rent increases would be capped at 5 percent for five years after the J-51 program expires at the property in 2020. For market rate residents, the deal has maintained the status quo.

Council Member Dan Garodnick Photo by Sabina Mollot)

Council Member Dan Garodnick (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

The matter of just how affordable the units are as a result of the deal has been debated in the community. However, they are significantly below market. A few market rate units advertised on the property’s website this week include a one-bedroom in Stuy Town for $3,232. A 440-square foot studio in Peter Cooper is listed as being available for $3,159-$3,199. A two-bedroom in Peter Cooper can get as high as close to $6,000. Add in a pressurized wall to create an extra room in any unit and rents are boosted by a few hundred dollars.

As for the preservation deal brokered last fall, Garodnick called it historic.

“It’s the largest in the city’s history and we’re pretty proud of the result,” he said. “This is the first step towards preserving our neighborhood as a middle class haven for the next generation.”

 

 

 

 

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10 thoughts on “Lottery launched for affordable apartments in ST/PCV

  1. I created an account but have not received an email containing a password to log on. I get an error message that I need to contact the Stuy Town administrator…. is the online application Not working???

  2. Seems Dick DeBlasio and Dick Garodnick dicked the residents of PCVST one more time. They both deserve a good punch in the face.

  3. Hello ..
    My name is Keith basnight..
    I’m from Mount Vernon ny.10550..I’m on disability looking for a one bedroom apartment ..can you please send me a application. .for your housing.
    Apartments. .please send to….
    Keith basnight ..53 south 9th avenue.
    Mount vernon..ny.10550…
    Thank you.

    • Hi Keith, T&V newspaper is not associated with ST-PCV ownership or HDC so we can’t send you an application but it is available online here. You will need to set up an account and should be able to access the application once you do so.

  4. I find this rather perplexing. Where are these 5000 apartments going to come from? The market rate tenants probably wouldn’t be eligible for the lottery because if they can afford the current market rents, they probably have incomes too high to be eligible for “affordable housing.” Are they just going to wait for the real rent stabilized units to be vacated? Are there even 5000 of them left to begin with? If the leasing office is still doing a brisk business, then I doubt there are many “affordable” apartments available. I think there are more dorms here than there are real rent stabilized apartments. I don’t consider the Roberts apartments to be rent stabilized in anything but name because those tenants are still paying extremely high rents compared to the tenants in the older, unrenovated apartments.

  5. I too have created an account but have not received an email containing a password to log for lottery application/entry on. on 3/1/2016 and 3/3/2016. As this may be first come first serve, with the number of applicants or entries in this case, chances are slim to none the longer it takes to get my login so I can enter.

  6. The 5000 “affordable” apartments are the apartments currently occupied by longtime tenants who are paying lower rents protected by the RS laws. Management is hoping that 300 or so of those tenants croak every year because their units are earmarked for this program. I take comfort in the knowledge that the members of the TA board (at least most of them) are living in such units. So, Marsh, Salacan, Steinberg, Doyle and Co., just remember that the vultures are hovering over your lives too. It’s not just the poor souls on fixed SCRIE incomes for whom they are waiting for the bell to toll. The Blackstone (Blackheart/DeBlasio/Garodnick) hearses are parked outside your buildings with the engines running as they salivate at the thought of your eventual demise. How does it feel to know that you are prominent among those whose deaths are eargerly anticipated by salivating ghouls? I’m glad I am moving back to California in a few weeks from now and my daughter will continue living legally in my apartment. As she is only 34 years old, they will have to salivate for a long time to get their hands on it! I feel very sorry for the older folks, especially those on SCRIE, who management hopes will skid on a banana skin!

  7. Pingback: Thousands flock to lottery site on 1st day | Town & Village Blog

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