The internet is making it easier than ever for residents to find out about, and apply for, affordable housing. A recent study by DNAinfo showed there were approximately 843 applications per unit (and some 3,400 units in the lotteries) last year. In total, that’s nearly 3 million applications.
Be super-clear about the guidelines for any unit you apply for. Know your combined household income, and be sure you can provide proof of your salary, as well as a credit report, birth certificate, identification, tax returns, proof of address, and more fun paperwork. You’ll have to present this all at an interview… if you’re randomly selected and survive the initial vetting process, which can take two to 10 months.
Someone asked me to read this, having read my prior article on the scam that is NYC rent stabilization. Yes, it is true, and I’m unsurprised by it. Media is actually pushing a rent stabilization lottery as the only realistic way to get a stabilized apartment in NYC. Though, with a 1 in 843 chance of getting called in, not even counting a housing board that could find any number of reasons to exclude you from stabilized housing, the chances are beyond slim. In fact, if you look on Betfair right now at the US Presidential election odds, you have a better chance of seeing Mike Pence, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Paul Ryan, or Evan McMullin winning the election than you do of getting selected for one of these units.
How can that be, if as I stated, 61% of the rental market is stabilized? Simple – as I stated in my first article, stabilized units aren’t on the market. If the tenant moved out, they’d never be able to get another stabilized apartment, so they are forced to stay at their stabilized rate. The landlords will do everything they can to avoid renting stabilized units to tenants, unless they are required to in order to receive their tax abatement. And if a tenant leaves a stabilized unit, the landlord will do everything he can to avoid renting to a tenant who demands to continue under stabilization, and instead will more than likely find any excuse he can to disqualify the tenant and rent to someone who will pay the market rate.
Still, with the number of stabilized units as high as it is, there has to be some turnover in the market. Tenants still move, or die, or are evicted from their units for whatever reason. Since the percentage of stabilized units remains relatively stable, with less than 1% of the stabilized inventory available in a lottery, stabilized units that do turn are clearly being rented to new stabilized tenants through some other means. So, how do you really get a stabilized apartment? You know, one of those that isn’t in the lottery?
The answer should be obvious – you bribe your way into one. After my article on stabilization was reposted by ZeroHedge, their comment section was filled with a deluge of comments regarding not just what it takes to get a stabilized unit, but how people are scamming the system of rent stabilization. Take a look at some of them:
I grew up in NYC. To get a rent stabilized apartment will cost much under the table.
It’s absurd as it destroys neighborhoods since the landlord can’t afford to maintain the property and forget about upgrades. It also.resulted in many rentals being converted to co-ops.
There’s also rent controlled apartments which are significantly cheaper to rent.
The savings factor is more than 2-3x, it’s obscene, closer to 10x. It’s basically a legacy privilege for anyone who was at the right place at the right time, and those who possess that privilege consider it an asset on the order of owning a home.
All of those comments makes me wonder what Jimmy McMillan, the founder of “The Rent Is Too Damn High” party that I cited in my original article, did or had to do to maintain residency in TWO stabilized units.
So if you think you have a shot at a stabilized unit, take your chances with the lottery. And, to be fair, we’ll probably see unknown Evan McMullin as our 45th President before you actually get one. Or… you could do what a lot of the other stabilized tenants do and bribe your way into a unit, cheat the system any way you can to remain in the unit, and possibly do all sorts of extracurricular, maybe illegal activities as a resident.
It sounds like what it really takes to get a stabilized apartment in NYC is an awful lot like what it takes to be the Presidential candidate with the current highest odds to win on Betfair, doesn’t it?