ARTISTS: Get Subsidized Housing at East Harlem’s El Barrio Artspace

Rendering of El Barrio's Artspace PS109. Photo: courtesy Artspace.
Rendering of El Barrio's Artspace PS109. Photo: courtesy Artspace.

Artists looking for that most elusive of prizes, an affordable Manhattan apartment, may want to apply for a chance to live at El Barrio Artspace PS109 (215 East 99th Street between Second and Third avenues). The housing units, which range from $494 a month for a studio to $1,022 for a 2 bedroom, are part of a community-driven project that is transforming the former PS109 school into a combination apartment building and space for arts and cultural organizations.

There will be 90 affordable live-work apartments available, and at least 50 percent of the units will be reserved for current residents of the neighborhood, with an emphasis on artists. Funding for the subsidized housing comes from the federal government, city housing, and arts grants, as well as the Ford Foundation, the Warhol Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, and the Rockefeller Foundation, among other groups.

The original 1898 building was designed by Charles B.J. Synder, whose elegant, turn-of-the-century school buildings set the standard for civic architecture, and can still be found throughout the city (see the I’m Just Walking blog for a look at many of his buildings). It has been vacant since 1995, but has been restored to its original terracotta-adorned glory as part of the $50 million project from Hamilton Houston Lownie Architects and Victor Morales Architects.

Applications are open through July 14. Qualifying income for a family of four tops out at $50,340, while a single occupant can earn no more than $35,280.


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