Category Archives: Artist’s Housing

Yianni Stamas Briefly Discusses How a Friend of his Who is an Artist Found Artist Housing

Friend’s Story Could be Your Story

Hi. I am Yianni and NYC “Housing Lottery” brought me in today to relay a brief story of how an artist friend of mine was able, here in New York City, to find a home for him and his family in a building in a building for creatives downtown. I have told this story before, but it bears repeating as it does give hope for artists living in the Big Apple who are looking for artistic communities that have affordable housing available. This issue is also looked at briefly on the USA Make a Difference website, and there also I make a cameo appearance. It is about getting the need known by those who can make it happen.

Contact Your Local NYC Politician

It is no secret that I am over age 50 (as seen today on the Over 50 USA site), in fact I am nearing 60, I bring this up to make the point that no matter how old you are, artist housing is a fight worth taking on. Nothing is going to change with the problem of needing affordable housing for New York City creatives, unless action is taken. Also, the mission of needing artist housing here in Manhattan, NY, is a part of a larger problem which is the importance of lending a hand in order to Save NYC Together. If you visit that site you will again see me rallying for the cause.

Just Say “No” to Stagnation

Join the cause for artists. Because if we do nothing, then nothing will change. And because of this, everything remains the same. For example, the last post on this site was done way back in March of 2021. Sad to say, It appears as though not a lot has changed in New York City since then. This not right. For example, I lived here in the city before Times Square was redone for Disneyites. It used to have a bunch of rundown buildings and theaters. It was the artists who stepped up and made the buildings and theaters into art with their brushes and other creative tools, that made the difference. It is true that this last only until that area was rebuilt. But the beauty of the art that the artists did, brightened the day for most of us. Artists are vital to the cultural injection that is needed so much today with the Delta virus making its way all across the city. But the artists are unable to interpret through their creative work these times that all of us are experiencing. Why? Because many creatives are having to focus on staying alive with a job to pay the rent, which means their inspiration through their art is put on hold and we lose out. Regarding opportunities for artists who are looking for housing, there is a method that you can sometimes use to get artist housing in Manhattan, NY. It is a strategy that you may not have heard of and one that I we will be revealing soon.

An Ongoing Mission

For years (pre-pandemic) I looked for pathways to try to help NYC creatives to take the worry of shelter off of their backs so they could focus on their art. One strategy, that almost received wings, was to purchase and refurbish a building. There were various investors interested in the proposal, but nothing fully materialized. We even had a step-by-step plan that we put together with a contractor. But, unfortunately the cause did not have enough momentum to be fully realized. Someone else purchased the building before we were able to.

Being Specific to Get Results

The good news is that there is some housing available to artists here in the big apple, but there is a key to finding these opportunities that might be helpful for you. It has not worked for some, but has been productive for others. You see, here in Manhattan it is usually for extremely specific kinds of creators that get the pot of gold so to speak.

Friend’s Search

A friend of mine who is a classical musician discovered an “in.” He was someone who had kids. My daughter was friends with his daughters so the two of us dads met several times in places like museums and parks, to provide a forum for our kids to play together. He had been searching for artist housing, and at one point was even considering moving to where my family and I live.

Acceptance Can Happen

During these playdates, while the kids played, we had many discussions about housing for artists and at one point, randomly, he checked within his classical music network and found a building that was specifically built as a place where musicians could find housing. He applied and lucked out. He was accepted to move into the building, which is located downtown from us. Another dad at my daughter’s school had comparable results.

Staying on the Path

Based on results I have witnessed firsthand; the key seems to be to continually be engaged in the artist housing quest but doing so while continually using a variety of different strategies. But this is true of course of any kind of goal one pursues. In the end there are often more than one way that a goal can be achieved.

Facing the Reality of Artist Housing in New York City

The Reality of Artist Housing Sinks in

Dear artists, this website was created with the best of intentions, which was to find for you  affordable housing. Unfortunately, our discovery was that for those folks lucky enough to have a job to help support them while they develop their art, are snubbed by housing providers. This is because their very low income is still high enough that they miss the boat. This is great news of course for the homeless community (deservedly so)  and literal “starving artists” whose survival is based on government subsidies. Those populations deserve and should be provided with housing, but unfortunately there is demographic of creatives who are often overlooked.

There Does Not Appear to be Middle Ground

Sadly, those who are working at a job or are having some success as a creator, are finding it difficult to locate affordable housing. And the distressing part of this is that the housing they do qualify for, often consist of “opportunities” outside of their reach because the prices involved are just too high!

Self -Empowerment

So yet again, those creatives who are in the middle of the income bracket, lose out! Their only hope is to create living accommodation opportunities for themselves since the government clearly will not. The determination of artists developing housing opportunities for themselves include a west coast work-in-progress where an artist purchased a building and then rented out living/creating spaces at prices that were within grasp of creatives!

A Proven Successful Method to Get Low Cost Housing for Artists in New York

What Kind of Artist Are You?

We are happy to say we have finally have a successful strategy you can use to get low cost housing for you if you are an artist of some kinds including visual or entertainment arts.

Match the Kind of Artist You are With Housing Opportunities that are for Your Art Form

How do you do this? You need to do what a friend of ours did. This person was a successful cellist who performed at places like Carnegie Hall. He got low cost housing for classical musicians in a great building in the Chelsea area of Manhattan, New York.

Seek and Ye Shall Receive

How did he do it? It was simple really once he knew what housing has been slotted for classical musicians. He put in an application to get into what is now his new place of residence. In other words, if you search carefully for housing for YOUR PARTICULAR ART FORM, whether you live in New York City or other New York State areas, you can find place to live that match the kind of artist you are. Granted, you are going to need to put in applications to the options you have in your area. Seek and ye shall receive!

The Roller Coaster Road of Finding Artist Housing

Low Income Level

Although the opportunity is now closed, we were happy to see several of our readers had found housing due to the low income level they had.

Frustration

This can be frustrating for those who did not score with that lottery. The feeling is that they are being punished because they make a bit more money than the tier allowed.

New President

Ironically, those with low incomes, often due not qualify for opportunities because their income level is too high. Maybe whoever becomes president will have a focus on artist housing for all.

Jumping for Joy

And for those got new income who are jumping for joy, congratulations.

Artists Making a Difference and Growing Older

The NYC Housing Lottery at the moment doesn’t look terrific for artists. The clouds are there and we are filming them, but looking to the heavens doesn’t seem to change our circumstance. Why is that? The Pandemic? Could be. There are other life and death problems that are focused on leaving  us creative types in the lurch.

So what is the solution? If an artist is living a marginal life with virtually no income, there is a chance she or he has access to programs that are meant for low income individuals.

All the rest of us who are on artistic paths must carry on with our work to help the people. Helping others is our lot in life, which is a good thing since we are fortunate to not have the worries of those who do not have much.

The Irony of Indoors

So in the middle of this Pandemic many people are staying in to avoid catching the virus and maybe dying from it. It’s literally a life and death issue. But wonder if you do not have somewhere to be inside? What do you do then.

Congratulations, there is a way in, the poorer you are the better. The city will not only give you food but an apartment, all this free if you are penniless. Or maybe you are working but not at a well paying job? Again the city can help you! You just have to make sure your level of income is low enough.

What do we have to learn about this in regards to artists such as filmmakers, dancers, fine artists and so on? This truly is one of the few times it is good to be a starving artist!

Dream of Artist Housing is Lost

A Dream Alone

It’s been 20 days since our last installment for this website dedicated to locating and creating housing lottery. We’ve had some successes but also a lot of losses. At this moment in time our dream of artist housing is lost. And although no blame is being put elsewhere but our dream alone is not enough.

Neighborhood with Opera Singers

We were seeking artist housing both for ourselves and others but we have it easier than most. We live in a beautiful part of Manhattan. I guess you could say we live in an artistic part of the city shared by musicians, filmmakers and opera singers.

No Sunlight

Even in this COVID-19 world we have been luckier than most. For nearly 3 months we have not gone outdoors. Except from dropping off recycling at bin 6 feet from the outside backdoor, we have not seen sunlight for as long.

A Question for You

I guess the question goes out to you. Are you still interested in establishing artist housing?

Be Creative About Pursuing Housing Options

Sometimes getting affordable housing is like solving a puzzle.


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.

Options Available

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

So if you truly are a starving artist with no or low income this could be your jackpot in terms of New York City housing opportunities.

Special thanks to Platinum PIAs for their input on this post.

Artist Housing: Stay on Track

Lady Liberty looks out for artists!


NYC Connections

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.

Why So Long?!

Through a Different Lens

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.

Bad News First

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.

Good News Second

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!