By Sabina Mollot
The lottery for below-market apartments in Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village is reopening.
On Monday, Blackstone announced that those who missed out the first time could try again during a one-month window.
This reopening is specifically for applicants in the higher-income bracket for one and two-bedroom apartments since those are the unit sizes that are most common throughout the property. However, the original waiting list is still active for unit types not included in the current lottery as well as one and two-bedrooms.
Around 15,000 people applied to the lottery when it was open last March and residents have been moving into the complex after being picked since June. A spokesperson for the property didn’t have information on the rate at which lottery apartments have been made available, although stabilized apartments had been turning over at a rate of 300 a year, Mayor de Blasio had said in 2015. At the time of the sale that year in October, Blackstone committed to preserving 5,000 apartments. Out of those, 90 percent are for households earning 165 of the area median income (AMI), the other 10 percent for those earning 80 percent. While there’s been plenty of debate over whether or not this constitutes true affordability, the rents are below market rate. Since the sale to Blackstone, when apartments become vacant, half of them become market rate, while the other half become home to lottery winners.
An ad promoting the lottery that’s running in four newspapers this week, including Town & Village, states that the rent for a one-bedroom would go for $2,805 for one person earning $84,150-$104,775 or for two people earning $84,150-119,625. A two-bedroom would go for $3,366 for a 2-4 person household earning a minimum of $100,980 to a maximum of $119,625 for two people, $134,640 for three people and $149,490 for four people.
By contrast, market rent in Stuyvesant Town starts at $3,200 for one-bedroom units and at $3,900 for two-bedroom units.
“We are thrilled to build further upon our partnership with the Stuy Town community and to our commitment to preserving its legacy of affordability,” said Paula Chirhart, a spokesperson for Blackstone and StuyTown Property Services.
Council Member Dan Garodnick also cheered the news. “I am so gratified by seeing new residents benefit from this program and join our community, and look forward to spreading the word about this next round.”
Meanwhile, Susan Steinberg, president of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, noted that the lottery rents were still too high for some hopefuls she’d heard from.
“It would appear that Blackstone will need to cast a wider net to meet their lottery goals,” she said. “The Tenants Association has heard several stories that prospective tenants, who met the income qualifications and were notified that an apartment was available, discovered that the rents were above what they could afford and turned the apartment down. Below market though the lottery apartments may be, their rents are still too high for many.”
To be eligible for the lottery, applicants can’t have more than $250,000 in assets though there may be some exceptions for retirement accounts. As for rent increases for residents in these apartments, they will be determined by Housing and Urban Development, also based on the AMI.
The deadline for submitting applications is March 10 online and mailed applications must be postmarked no later than March 10. Like the initial lottery, applicants will be chosen randomly with the only preference being for current New York City residents. To apply online, visit stuytownlottery.com. Applications can also be requested by mail by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village Wait List, Peter Stuyvesant Station, PO Box 1182, New York, NY, 10009.
Note: Article has been updated to include a comment from Susan Steinberg.