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How To Live Rent-Free in a Historic NYC Mansion

Forget about those cheap rent-stabilized apartments. The city's cast of historic mansion caretakers have the stabilized renters beat. The caretakers don't get salaries, but they also don't have to pay rent (or utilities). There are a total of 19 live-in caretakers of city-owned historic homes, and they get the gigs through a program run by the Historic House Trust and administrated by the parks department. Anyone can apply?but once someone gets a post, they also never have to reapply, which means there's low turnover.

Nor, the caretakers hasten to assure the Times, is the job 100 percent perk: "Most of the residents live in repurposed servant quarters?They mow, shovel snow and shoo out the occasional drywall-gnawing varmint. They must watch their charge most nights or pay a house sitter out of pocket. And they must be careful not to damage the building or, in the cases where the house is also a museum, its contents." One caretaker was chastised for adding a satellite dish. Yeah, yeah. It still sounds like a pretty sweet deal.
· Living in the City's Historic Mansions, Rent-Free [NYT]
· How Much Does a Rent-Stabilized NYC Apartment Cost? [Curbed]