Creative Wherever You Go
Managing the Challenge
Bottom line this website comes up on search engines as a place to get artist housing. For those of you who have not been following us, we’d determined that artist housing is very hard to find in New York. Even more difficult than other types such as being over 55 and so forth.
Position Yourself to Succeed
So what to do in this predicament? If you are a creative person looking for a comfortable home we will refer you to a few possibilities that you may not have heard of. The idea is to get on as many lists as possible. This way, through diversification, you stand a better chance of hitting the jackpot. For example age can sometimes play a part. Our friends at Over 50 USA say there is even housing for those 55 and above. The point is to to determine your niche and go for it.
Low Wages Can Be a Positive
And for those of you who have an income on the lower end, getting housing is all the easier because most of it has at least a section of their structure dedicated to folks who are earning low or no wages.
Or if your goal is to buy, try this which is called Mitchell-Lama housing and more.
Middle Range Income
Having no hard proof of the following statement, we believe that getting good housing in New York unless you are near poverty level is tough. Though there are purchasing and rental opportunities in the city, if you make a middle range income, they will try to get much higher prices out of you.
Leave Room for What You Love
So be careful what you get yourself into. Artists need time for their work and not always trying to make a living with other kinds of work. Again, get on as many lists as possible so you have those home options that can lower your overall budget.
As the government states it on their housing website:
“Finding affordable housing opportunities that you may be eligible for by using tools on this site. They create affordable rent-stabilized apartments for households at a wide range of income levels and sizes.”
But they also say:
“Note: Applicants with a housing voucher or rental subsidy may still qualify even if they make less than the minimum income limits listed in a lottery advertisement.”
Leverage Being a Starving Artist
Special thanks to Platinum PIAs for their input on this post.
We seek to help “starving artists” to succeed through first getting a good roof over their heads. If you have been wildly searching the internet for opportunities we will soon reveal one of the best places online to search for renting or buying if you live in New York City. Our thanks to NYC Create for giving us this information.
Finding the Right Housing
The thing that you need are tools and these can be found on the web. Income is key in this. If you have less, you get more for your money. There are portals you can explore to find and apply for opportunities that could set you up with the housing that is just right for you. Looking for housing can be stressful so you might want to consider Yoga as a solution.
Art and Technology
Artists often want to just focus on their art, and this is noble. In fact, you can merely move to a low cost community outside of the urban life and find ways to lower your costs considerably. The problem with this though comes in if you thrive for the sights, sounds and culture of the city as well as do an art form that relies on technology.
Know Your Options
So if you are going to stick to the city, then you need affordable housing option that you may be eligible for which include affordable rent-stabilized apartments for households at a wide range of income levels and sizes.
Improving Your Luck
It’s all about lotteries which is all about luck, but that luck can be increased by the more times you seek out options.
Which Way is Best?
Essentially, there are two ways that you can apply for housing, both rental and purchase. Those two ways are of course by snail mail or online. Some say that snail mail is going to get you a better result, but there is no hard and fast proof of this. Keep the faith about whichever way you decide and possibly look to Yoga as a way to “deal” throughout.
Sometimes No Need for a Credit Report
Your housing quest is going to entail a lot of reading and writing. Also, some agencies now will take proof of a positive 12 months of rental payment, rather than doing a credit check. Overall, you need to have a strategic approach like the one deconstructed at NYC Create.
A Possible Solution
Getting frustrated with finding housing opportunities in New York City? Go here and this could solve a lot of your problems. Whether you want to rent or buy, Fill out the form and submit it as well as look at various options for housing.
Make Not a Lot of Money?
As always, you will be rewarded for the less income you make, therefore it is perfect for artists who consider themselves of the starving variety! Oh, and there’s even a video you can watch to start you on your journey at the Housing Connect Page.
First off, we’d like to give a shoutout and thanks to NYC AIM and NYC Workshops, two entities that work very hard on making life easier for artists. Which brings me to the crux of what I am going to be discussing today: survival of artists of any kind.
Why Not Choose It?
Maybe I’ve been pursuing this thing in a backward fashion. I have been looking at it as being housing for artists, assuming that they are not rich. But why can’t they become rich?
If they did so this would make it a lot easier to find good artist digs, because they’d have the cash to buy it. So instead of seeking affordable artist housing, maybe a better path to travel on is to up the dollar amount you’re bringing in.
They Title Says it All
And as luck would have it, a project I’ve been working on with both NYC AIM and NYC Workshops is a tutorial entitled “How to Make Money as an Artist.” By collaborating on this we’ve really come up with some terrific ideas.
Does it Need to Have 50?
The long term plan is to work with the new group USA eLearning to convert our notes into either an online course, an email course or an eBook. All formats seem suitable. At this point we have less than 50 strategies. We’d really like to have 50 because it is a nice substantial number. Also, it is a number that would work well if we were to teach an NYC Workshop.
More Promising Outcomes
As a result of our meeting yesterday, we all dug deeply within ourselves to come up the tactics. We are all of the belief that one of the reason that there is such a thing as a “Starving Artist” is due largely in part because many artists don’t know an alternative approach to their lives with more promising fiscal outcomes.
This was the core of the whole ArtisticPreneur idea that many of you know about and that was taught to participants of NYC AIM. An ArtisticPreneur is part artistic person and part entrepreneur. The two ends of the spectrum don’t have to be mutually exclusive. They can be one and the same in the mind, heart and ambitions of a person.
Which Side of the Brain are You?
Just because you may be more right brain oriented with creativity and the arts, doesn’t mean you can’t sometimes function with more of the left side of your brain performing tasks that have to do with logic, such as in science and mathematics. And in this case, math is money!
How do You Get Your Copy?
But once it is done, this is going to be one of the places it will first be announced. Because again, this might be a better approach overall in terms of securing artist housing. Instead of having low cast artist housing which is only available to the very poor, why not consider the other approach which is to make more ducats!
Spinning the Wheel
Stamas’ story will likely be of interest to those residing in New York City who are searching for housing opportunities. John too has been taking a spin at the NYC Housing Lottery wheel, hoping for a lucky break. Here’s how he’s been doing with it so far:
“It’s a process that has lots of obstacles in the way, a key one being luck. So far luck has not been our experience but people I know have hit the jackpot!”
Actual Success Stories
John went on to tell us about someone he knows getting into Manhattan Plaza in Hell’s Kitchen/Midtown at the original artist rate. And if you’re feeling down you could get inspiration from the various processes of NYC Workshops or even NYC Create.
Another Success Story
Turns out that Stamas knows a cellist who got into housing for classical musicians, plus another individual he met who got into housing for fine artists.
Is There a Secret?
We asked Stamas if he knew what their secret was. Here’s what he said.
“There’s no secret I can see other than persevering, not giving up and looking for the right fit. The cellist was ready to throw up his arms and move into our building but then the opportunity came for “classical music housing” at the last moment.” He now lives with his family in a great section of Manhattan, NY!
1 Chance Out of Thousands
We asked John Yianni Stamas if there were any lotteries he is involved with for the moment and he said that there is a NYC Housing Lottery opportunity. He told us that his wife had a friend who knew about it and now they just need to beat out the 26,000 other folks who are also in the race!
Stamas reminded us to pass on to you that if you search the search engines you will likely find housing that could be right for you. Or even check the NYC Workshops’ website for strategies that can help one stay on track. NYC Create is also a good choice. John suggested that the more specific you are about the details regarding yourself (profession etc.) the more likely you will be to finding a housing match to apply to.
It indeed has been a long time since we updated this blog. Why is this? Well, it’s primarily because we realized we needed to look at the problem of housing for artists through a different lens and it took us a while to realize what it was.
First the bad news. You have to have a very low income to qualify for housing. This is a great thing for those who are challenged financially – and we commend the city for helping out those in need – but it makes it demotivating for those of us who are in a different place financially but of not much more of an income. It seems that those of us who are somewhere just below the middle have the hardest time. We’re not rich enough to buy a building and create artist housing ourselves, nor is our income low enough to qualify for digs for creative people.
But now the good news. The good news is that there is no more bad news. That’s about as good as the news is going to be for those in the lower region of the middle. But that doesn’t mean we have given up the fight. Quite the contrary. In our seeming hiatus from this blog, we’ve learned a lot about what it’s going to take to make artist housing happen. It’s going to be a challenge but what good thing hasn’t been. More on this to come!
Lower than normal prices in Chelsea NY, NY, are still out of the reach of most artists of all kinds including ArtisticPreneurs. It doesn’t matter if you’re a painter or filmmaker or musician and more, the same problem exists: how does one get a decent place to live at a decent price so she or he can advance her or his creative work? Here’s what Curbed.com uncovered in the desirable area of Chelsea, Manhattan:
“For the studios, rent prices range between $702 to $2,132 a month; one-bedrooms are priced from $753 to $2,674; and two-bedrooms rent for prices that fall between $910 and $3,216 per month. The development also plans to offer tenants a 4,560-square-foot community room, laundry room, a roof deck, and bike storage. The project also promises to rehabilitate the playground and basketball court at the nearby Fulton Houses.”
Let’s face it, even though the prices we just showed are not affordable for many a creative person or ArtisticPreneur, it’s still a step in the right direction. How do these lower cost opportunities come about? Curbed.com went on to illustrate:
“As part of the rezoning that allowed the 2006 rezoning in West Chelsea to move, the city agreed to create more affordable apartments within the neighborhood. Making good on their promise, the New York City Housing Authority is constructing an 18-story building at 425 West 18th Street, where a parking lot once stood, reports City Realty.”
We don’t get a chance to update this site as much as we would like. Though, if you come across any housing deals for creatives please let us know. We appreciate it. Until next time, happy hunting!
If you haven’t looked into Actors Fund housing options because you worry you don’t qualify since you’re not an actor, look again.
The Actors Fund and their housing programs provide housing for EVERYONE in entertainment! This includes but is not limited to those working in theater, film, television, radio, music, dance, opera and circus. Entertainment job descriptions include screenwriters, musicians, stage hands, gaffers, technicians and so on.
“Vision: The Actors Fund envisions a world in which individuals contributing to our country’s cultural vibrancy are supported, valued and economically secure.
Mission: The Actors Fund fosters stability and resiliency, and provides a safety net for performing arts and entertainment professionals over their lifespan.”
Do either of the following two paragraphs from The Actors Fund resonate with you?
“Employment in any division of the performing arts and entertainment industry is unpredictable. Work is erratic, security is fleeting and health insurance is often just a dream. For all of these reasons and many more, The Actors Fund is an indispensable and deeply significant part of the entire entertainment community.
As a national organization with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, we directly serve thousands of performing arts and entertainment professionals across the country every year, in person and via our online resources. Our programs are wide in scope, responsive in nature and produce significant results.”
As we stated at the beginning of this post, there’s no harm in looking. Look again at actorsfund.org. If you’re a New Yorker you can call them right now at 800.221.7303 or email is the following email@example.com. Break a leg!
National Headquarters–New York City
729 Seventh Avenue, 10th floor
New York, NY 10019
I’ve actually been there while seeing a dance performance. Westbeth is very nice artist’s housing. It provides affordable living and working spaces for artists and their families. Westbeth originally opened in 1970 through National Endowment for the Arts funding along with help from the J.M. Kaplan Foundation. Although it has a long waiting list, this artist housing building offers affordable live/work spaces and an array of cultural activities.
New York Foundation for the Arts describes itself on its website as: “A nonprofit service organization that provides the concrete resources that working artists and emerging arts organizations need to thrive.” A part of the resources that it provides includes information on artist’s live/work spaces. Contact the NYFA today for more information live/work space.
Although it is no longer available for emerging artists, according to City Realty, Soho used to be looked at as a last resort for artists. It may be difficult for many New Yorkers to believe that in the early 1970s, Soho was considered a place for struggling artists. A story from the NY Times describes Soho as the only area left in Manhattan where the loft space [artists] need is still available at reasonable rates. But even in 1970 when Soho was still an affordable (though crime ridden) option for artists, there were concerns about the neighborhood’s transformation by the real estate community.
The Actor’s Fund is for everyone in entertainment. The Schermerhorn is the name of a new development that The Actors Fund is spearheading in conjunction with Breaking Ground Community are developing this unique, 217-unit residence for single adults in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn. The Schermerhorn also houses The Actors Fund Arts Center, a 2,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art performance space and multipurpose room. Residents and community arts organizations may use this space for rehearsals, performances, films and exhibitions, enriching the vibrant and growing Brooklyn arts culture.
The NYCED’s news and press release section of their website is where you can find info on some of the latest spaces such as this one in Far Rockaway. If you’re willing to relocate to Far Rockaway and your income is a fit for admission, there are possible opportunities there.
According to the Times Ledger, Far Rockaway Village will provide a 23,000-square-foot public plaza, 92,000 square feet of commercial space and 450,892 square feet of residential space for the first phase of the project by 2021. Additional housing units and commercial space will be added after the initial stage, according to Ryan Birchmeier, an EDC spokesman.
Curbed says that as recent as 2017, at a time when rents push the limit, there are more artists living in New York City than ever before. CUF released a study that finds that confirms this. What can we learn from this? Being an artist and finding housing requires tenacity.
There is one place where you can get information about affordable rental and purchase opportunities including HDC-financed developments. Where? The NYC.gov websites provides resources that include The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), Mitchell-Lama Housing Developments and ultimately general information about housing in the City. All this and more can be found at NYC.gov.
The desire of many artists and ArtisticPreneurs – including musicians, writers, filmmakers etc. – is to live in the city, New York, Los Angeles and so on. But in point of fact due to the internet, many creatives of a variety of different art forms don’t necessarily have to reside in a metropolis.
From an artist housing perspective this makes things easier because the cost of living is often less outside of the big urban areas. This means that an artist can do her or his work in a place that the overhead is not so steep. This makes making art a lot easier.
There’s nothing wrong with not living in the hustle and bustle. There is all kinds of inspiration to be found in smaller communities. And most artist’s work can be shared on the web.
So if you are feeling the pinch and want to save money so you can focus on your creativity, consider residing in a more serene and cost effective environment. Many artists are doing it.
And no matter where you are located you can still apply your artistic abilities toward that of being an entrepreneur, also known as ArtisticPreneur.