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!
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!
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 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!
In Search of Housing for Artists and an Actualization of Their Goals