Wait list opens for affordable apartments in Kips Bay

By Sabina Mollot

New Yorkers on the lookout for a more affordable home might want to consider Phipps Plaza South, two buildings located in Kips Bay, where there is currently a lottery for affordable apartments.

There is at this time just a small amount of vacancies, but there is also a wait list, according to a spokesperson for Phipps, which, this week, announced the opportunity via an ad. The reason for the announcement since most units are already filled is that the owner, nonprofit developer Phipps Houses, is required to periodically refresh the waiting list if it’s out of date or applicants fall below a certain number. This policy is a HUD requirement for Section at 8 at the property.

The two buildings are located at 330 East 26th Street and 444 Second Avenue and together have 404 apartments that are mostly low-income. None are market rate, according to the spokesperson, James Yolle, and it’s covered under a regulatory agreement until 2039 and will then become rent stabilized. Any unit rented goes to someone on the waiting list, which applicants can get on based on income limits.

Rents start at $982 for a studio but must be rented to a single tenant earning no more than $38,100. One-bedroom apartments are available for $1,020 but an applicant can’t earn more than $38,100 or two applicants can’t have a combined income of more than $43,500. Two bedrooms are $1,224 with households of two allowed to earn no more than $43,500, households of three no more than $48,960 and households of four no more than $54,360. Applicants can also be waitlisted for a three-bedroom at $1,413 if a family of four or five will occupy the space (limited at incomes of $54,360 and $58,740, respectively) or a four-bedroom at $1,576 if a family of five or six needs it (with incomes limited at $58,740 and $63,060) respectively.

To request a spot on the wait list, mail a postcard requesting an application to Henry Phipps Plaza South, 902 Broadway, 13th Floor, New York, NY, 10010 or download one from the website.

The buildings were built from 1968-1970.

The owner also has a new 55-unit affordable building nearby on East 25th Street called Kips Bay 25. A lottery at this rent stabilized property recently drew 50,000 applicants, according to Yolle, and there is a community preference for applicants from the Community Board 6 area. As to how affordable it is, 40 percent of the units are for households earning under 80 percent of the area median income, 20 percent are for those below 120, 140 and 165 percent. The ones under 80 percent are permanently affordable while the higher priced ones are covered in an HPD (Department of Housing, Preservation and Renewal) agreement for the next 40 years.

Phipps Houses has also, according to an article reported in The Real Deal last month, entered into a deal to sell another local property — its eight Kips Bay Court buildings a.k.a. Phipps Plaza West — to Blackstone for $620 million. The nearly 900-apartment rental complex left the Mitchell-Lama affordability program over a decade ago and is now all market rate, though, according to the article, 40 percent of those units are subsidized through Section 8.

Yolle said there’s no plan to sell Phipps Plaza South or Kips Bay 25.

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