03/20/17 6:09pm
Those Gowanus kayakers are not wearing hazmat suits, meaning they have no fear of death. Photo via 365 Bond

Those Gowanus kayakers are not wearing hazmat suits, meaning they have no fear of death. Photo via 365 Bond

Gird your loins: beginning tomorrow, an affordable housing lottery is opening for 54 newly constructed units at the massive, neighborhood-changing rental building known as 365 Bond. The lottery will undoubtedly be inundated by enough people to populate a larger-than average American town, but hey, applying won’t take as long as writing that leaving Brooklyn essay, and if you win a unit you’ll be able to actually afford to stay here. (more…)

03/02/17 4:09pm
Rendering by Aufgang Architects

Rendering by Aufgang Architects

Plenty of Brooklynites pay $1,247/month or more for the privilege of inhabiting a single room in a multi-bedroom apartment they share with strangers. The lucky winners of the affordable housing lottery for units in Dumbo’s 181 Front St. will pay as much for their own private three-bedroom luxury rental.

The lottery, open to applications as of tomorrow, has 21 newly constructed units available: nine one-bedrooms, eleven two-bedrooms and a single three-bedroom. Households of one to six people respectively making between $32,057 and $64,060 a year per family are eligible. The one-bedrooms rent for $895 a month, the two-bedrooms for $1,082/month and the three-bedroom for $1,247.

In addition to the fact that you’ll be paying the kind of rent money that usually earns you little more than a windowless basement shoebox of an apartment, the building also offers a host of amenities. There’s a gym, a playroom, a 24-hour doorman, roof access, bike storage and (for an additional fee) onsite parking. (more…)

01/30/17 3:30pm
Renderings of 86 Fleet Place via CityRealty (left) and YIMBY (right).

Renderings of 86 Fleet Place via CityRealty (left) and YIMBY (right).

The dystopian present is here, and the winners of this just-opened affordable housing lottery will be able to watch the world burn from a cushy luxury rental in this glassy new apartment building. The Blade Runner-esque structure at 86 Fleet St. in Downtown Brooklyn has 29 newly constructed units set aside for those earning 60 percent of the area median income, which quite literally translates to The Middle Class of DoBro (so, one- to six-person families with a combined household income between $30,446 and $63,060 a year). (more…)

10/31/16 1:00pm
Apply now for a $368/month studio apartment in this fancy Greenpoint complex

Not shown in the rendering: you looking out the window of your new affordable studio. via 6sqft.com

Rent is due tomorrow, and you’re probably feeling the squeeze today— or at least asking yourself why you still pay $950/month to sleep in a closet.

But just in time for the last day of the month, there’s hope for a better future. Brick Underground reports that an affordable housing lottery is now open at Five Blue Slip, one of a trio of low-rise condos going up as part of that Greenpoint Landing mega-project that was announced last year.

102 affordable units are available in the building, and boast actually-affordable rent costs starting at just $368/month for a studio. Heck, that’s probably around what you pay for your artist studio or co-working space right now. And you can’t even shower or cook in those!

No one’s thrilled about losing a view to condos, even low-rise ones. But it’s happening, and the best way to stick it to the developers is to score a cheap unit at below market value.  (more…)

10/04/16 12:51pm
Pack, pray, move: a Brokelyn guide to making your next apartment move (relatively) painless

I’m already exhausted looking at this via. Instagram

Bringing up the topic of moving usually elicits groans and horror stories from all. It’s stressful, nobody likes it and since Brooklyn has been decreed the “Most Unaffordable Place to Live in America,” you’re probably pushing your luck anyway. But if the apartment you had once fallen in love with is now mouse ridden, and your current landlord has been ignoring your calls, and you’re nowhere near any good bars to make this all worth it, then it’s time to be movin’ out.

For something that sucks so much, we all keep doing it. But it doesn’t have to be completely unbearable. Brokelyn here, ready to share some insightful wisdom, reminders of the little things, and tips and hook-ups so you don’t have to go through these trying times of pre-move anguish alone. We’ve all been there, and we’re ready to help you pack up and move on to bigger, better places— ideally with a working toilet.  (more…)

09/29/16 1:04pm
Get a good look at these brownstones, because you'll never own one. via josh c. jackson on Flickr

Get a good look at these brownstones, because you’ll never own one. via josh c. jackson on Flickr

Well, that settles that.

We already knew that way too much of our income was going to rent. Just last year, New York City came in as second-most expensive place to raise a family. But those statistics suddenly pale in comparison to Brooklyn’s latest crowning yearbook superlative, Most Unaffordable Place to Live in America.

Real estate data company ATTOM data solutions released their third 2016 quarterly report today, which ranked cities on a scale of unaffordability by comparing incomes with market rate housing and closing deal costs. Brooklyn won out by a landslide, with 123.5 percent of median income being the going rate for a house. Santa Cruz came in second, at 111.1 percent.

Marketwatch, who first reported ATTOM’s findings, put it in laymen’s terms: “A person earning the average salary in Brooklyn cannot afford the average home there — even if he or she could spend his entire salary (and then some) on housing.” Well, guess we’d better start commuting from Cleveland. [NOTE: This post has been updated.]  (more…)

09/27/16 2:42pm
Back to the good old days! via Wikipedia

Back to the good old days! via Wikipedia

We knew it was hiking up our rent, we knew it was hurting the community, but AirBnB rentals might also be super illegal. Like, Depression-era levels of illegal.

As DNAInfo reports, two New York state senators and a senate nominee just released a scathing investigation into everyone’s favorite bad guy Airbnb, entitled “Tourist Tenements in the Making.” The investigation looks into the practice of cramming way, way too many people into a rental that’s clearly only meant for a few bodies. So, if you’re looking for that classic old New York feel, maybe Airbnb is your ticket back to the Roaring Aughts. (more…)

08/19/16 11:56am
Via Flickr user verseguru.

Kenneth Hubriston on his way to his new home. Via Flickr user verseguru.

Welcome to the Fox Hunt, Brokelyn’s new column inviting you to tag along on a totally relatable story about trying to purchase a New York City home. 

It was last December when Kenneth Hubriston realized he needed to change his neighborhood, or else go insane. Engaged at the time in the fourth revolution of his “gap year” between an undergraduate degree and finding a job suited to his interest level, he had been paying month-to-month living in the uppermost hidden apartments of Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, and it was clear why he hadn’t signed a lease. His downstairs neighbors were constantly playing their music too loud, particularly in the evenings, and there’s only so many times one can hear The Nutcracker in its entirety before admitting that, while beautiful and signatory of Tchaikovsky’s genius, one needs peace and quiet when watching Survivor.

And of course, there were “those vagabond cellists, hanging out every day after rehearsal,” Mr. Hubriston said. He wasn’t aware of the actual figures of the rent he was paying, but the board members in charge of his trust consistently informed him it was prohibitive. It was time for a move. (more…)

05/17/16 11:45am
This boat is basically rent-stabliized, since docking fees don't increase based on slimy landlords' greed.

This boat is basically rent-stabliized, since docking fees don’t increase based on slimy landlords’ greed.

It’s getting bad out there for the broke. So bad that just last month, struggling artists had to build their next performance space out on the Hudson River. Rent is so high we can’t even afford the affordable stuff, and the media are trying to turn us soft about it. But we’re not going to let them, no sir. We’re still bringing you the first word on affordable living situations, no matter how outlandish they may be. And speaking of “out land”-ish, here’s a living situation aboard a sailboat — which might be the only affordable housing left in Brooklyn.

Listed on Craigslist by a European artist (of course), the sailboat is “a wonderful living opportunity” for anyone looking to save on rent this summer. Why so wonderful? Because the renter, Hannes Bend, is willing to have you live there for free.  “I ask for no money,” reads Bend’s listing, “but eventually the boat could be subleased. Then we would split income.”

First of all, this is a much better boat-related summer plan than schlepping a free yacht all the way from Sheepshead Bay. And as far-fetched as this rental offer sounds, it’s a heckuva lot more realistic than trying to live alone anywhere else in Brooklyn. Still need convincing? Brokelyn reached out to Bend and got his take on why living inside a boat might actually be the sanest thing you do this year.
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04/04/16 1:00pm
Our sentiments exactly. kl801 / Flickr

Our sentiments exactly. via Flickr user kl801

As is customary around this time every month, Brokelyn has the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the sad state of affairs of Brooklyn real estate. This isn’t like all those other times we presented the sad state of affairs though. This time, we’re turning away from market data and toward the people’s record. We’ve put together a thoroughly oral history of rent increases upon lease turnover. We polled friends, colleagues and strangers, and we’ve come out with a few reasonable conclusions about why the rent is going up. Warning: results are depressing, to say the least. Once you get a sense of just how your own bum deal estate stacks up against the folks we spoke to, make sure to let us know about your rent woes in the comments section.

(This is the inaugural installment of a recurring real estate series we’re running on the first of every month.)
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