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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.”
How Do These “Deals” Come About?
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!
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
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.
City Realty Takes a Look Back at Soho
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.
Actor’s Fund’s Brooklyn Housing for those in Entertainment
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 and Far Rockaway Village Per Times Ledger
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 Calls Artists a Persistent Bunch When it Comes to Housing
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.
Artists Can Benefit from NYC GOV’s New York City Housing Lottery
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.
NYC Create is a relatively new website but it’s already having an impact on the “Art Scene” in New York City. And as such, is helping A.I.R. (Artist Introvert Revolution) make headway with their goal of establishing affordable living quarters for every kind of artist – musicians, writers, filmmakers etc. – in NYC. It has been an intense several months exploring many different options including partnering with the small arts organization Lights Camera Read. Lights Camera Read is a nonprofit fiscally sponsored organization committed to breaking artists free of thinking of themselves as “Starving Artists.” And at the start it seemed that LCR was going to really help with the cause but then the new tax code was passed which has negatively impacted small arts organizations, especially those primarily depending on middle income donors. The reason for the negative impact is that middle income donors have had the motivation taken away from them to give to nonprofits. Why? Because most middle income folks will not be doing itemized deductions on their taxes and instead will likely take the standard deduction. All this is a long way of saying that Lights Camera Read is focusing on revitalizing their organization and are able to give less time to A.I.R. in terms of creating housing for creatives. But thank goodness for NYC Create. They have the mission to help artists promote themselves, build their audience and ultimately monetize their art. NYC Create has been quite helpful with getting the word out. We’ll update you soon on how the collaboration with NYC Create is getting us closer to making artist housing a reality in New York City!
In Search of Housing for Artists and an Actualization of Their Goals