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Developer of "100% affordable" 535 Carlton now offers free month; net rent for 1BR = $2,474, 2BR = $2,975

So it's come to this. In an effort to fill the "100% affordable" 535 Carlton, where some 95 middle-income units were not taken in the lottery, the developers are now offering one month free on middle-income one- and two-bedroom units, at $2,680 and $3,223 respectively. See the screenshots below.

Six specific units are listed on Streeteasy, but as the listing for Unit 520 below indicates, "various one bedrooms and two bedrooms are still available." That implies that the 36 studios at $2.137 and the seven three-bedrooms at $3,716 (subject to notable scorn when the story of still-available units blew up last November) may be taken, or at least aren't being offered now.

Interestingly enough, because the rents (see lottery ad) are set by a government program, limited they must list the gross rent, not the net rent, which is typical advertising-speak when incentives are offered.

By my calculation, the net monthly rent for a two-bedroom unit over 13 months is [(3223 x 12)/13], or $2,975. For a one-bedroom, it's [(2680 x 12)/13], or $2,474. Of course, after a year, the discount expires.


Size of units

Note that the two-bedroom is listed at 973 square feet, which is not huge for a two-bedroom on the open market, but certainly larger than required under city guidelines, which allow affordable two-bedrooms under 700 square feet! Another two-bedroom listed (see below) was 964 square feet. (I think the one listed for 1,100 square feet was a mistake.)

One-bedrooms are listed at 643 and 668 and 646 square feet, again not huge but well above city guidelines that allow units of 504 square feet and 518 square feet. A studio was listed at 499 square feet, a decent size, especially since city guidelines allow units of 351 square feet.

In fact, as noted in the screenshot above right, the New York City Housing Development Corporation's M2 (mixed middle-income) program, which approximates the configuration (if not all the details) of 535 Carlton, allows much smaller units.

Income eligibility

One reason the apartments haven't rented easily is that they're not cheap, and middle-income households have other options. Another is that relatively few people are eligible in the first place.

Below are the income "bands" as of 2017. For a one-bedroom, the minimum is $93,258 for one or two people, and maximum is $110,220 and $126,060, respectively. For a two-bedroom, the minimum is $111,909 and the maximum, depending on whether there are two, three, or four people, is $126,060, $141,375, and $157,410.


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