When it was announced last July that NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development approved a high-rise building with separate entrances for low-income and wealthy tenants, outrage dutifully followed. But now that applications for the building are open, the city’s housing problem appears to be worse than we thought.
The New York Times has an update on the famed Upper West Side high-rise, whose application window for the 55 affordable housing units closed Monday. The 55 apartments—whose tenants will not have access to the pool, gym, bowling alley, or private theater, and who will be treated like second-class citizens in their own city by being shuttled through a separate door in a “back alley”—received almost 90,000 applications. Non-rich people in New York are so desperate for affordable housing that they will seek it in any way that they can imagine.
Gary Barnett, the founder and president of high-rise’s developer, Extell, told the Times, “I guess people like it. It shows that there’s a tremendous demand for high-quality affordable housing in beautiful neighborhoods.” Though he’s right about people needing “high-quality affordable housing in beautiful neighborhoods,” this arrangement exemplifies the city’s untenable income inequality while wearing a shit-eating grin.
The units at Extell’s building are eligible to households with incomes of $30,240 to $50,340, with rents listed at $1,082 for a two-bedroom, $895 for a one-bedroom and $833 for a studio in a prime location by the Hudson River. Mr. Barnett argued that the response showed that the poor door issue was a “made-up controversy.”
Now that the nearly 90,000 applications have come in, what will the process be like to narrow down renters of the 55 available apartments? The Times explains:
Shelia Martin, chief operating officer of the NYC Housing Partnership, said the screening of applicants for 470 West 62nd Street will begin next month. After they are randomly ranked, the top several thousand applications are reviewed, and about 2,000 interviews conducted, to find the 55 households that meet income and size requirements. Preferences are given to those who live in the same community district as the new building, people with disabilities and municipal employees.
Poor door tenants will begin moving in as early as August. Thankfully, the rich-people condos—priced at as high as $25 million each—are mostly all sold. Nice.