The affordable housing lottery for 325 Kent Avenue, the first rental building to rise within the Domino Sugar megaproject, opened back in November, and—unsurprisingly—its apartments were in high demand. According to developer Two Trees, a grand total of 87,000 people applied for the building’s 104 affordable units—meaning that, in all likelihood, if you were one of those applicants, you’re SOL.
The question of what’s deemed “affordable” can hang over the apartments that come to market as part of these lotteries. But in the case of 325 Kent, the units were aimed at lower-income New Yorkers making up to 50 percent of the area median income (so, at the high end, about $45,000 for a family of four). None of the affordable units themselves (a mix of studios, and one- and two-bedrooms) will rent for more than about $1,000.
SHoP’s doughnut-shaped building will have 500 apartments in total, most of which will be market-rate (though pricing for those has yet to be announced). It’s already topped out, and move-ins are expected sometime this summer.
Those who got shut out of the lottery this time around will have more chances in the future: the megaproject is expected to have 700 affordable apartments in total, though when those will be close to completion isn’t clear just yet.
As the need for decent, not-exorbitantly-expensive housing has risen, New York’s housing lotteries have become increasingly popular. Some reports show that there are 1,000-to-1 odds for those who apply, and the numbers don’t lie: 56,000 people applied for just 86 affordable units in Lightstone’s Gowanus-hugging rental building; in Downtown Brooklyn, 90,000 people applied for 200 apartments; and at Carmel Place, more than 60,000 people applied for studios that measure 300 square feet or less.