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Lottery launches for 53 affordable studios for seniors at former illegal Upper West Side hotel

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Rendering courtesy of the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development

A building that once operated as an illegal hotel and has been converted into affordable housing for seniors opened a lottery on Friday for 53 apartments. Located at 117 West 79th Street, Park 79 Apartments is a 100 percent affordable housing development with 77 rent-stabilized studio apartments for seniors earning at or below 50 percent of the area median income (AMI), including 24 homes for formerly homeless New Yorkers. Residents, who must be aged 62 years or older to qualify, will pay only 30 percent of their income in rent.


Photo of a studio at Park 79 Apartments courtesy of Fairstead

Located next to the American Museum of Natural History and a block from Central Park, the building was a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) zoned for permanent residential use that the previous owner used illegally as a hotel. According to a press release, the Mayor’s Office of Special Enforcement issued multiple violations in 2015. The following year, real estate developer Fairstead acquired the property with plans to transform the building into housing for seniors. Following a major renovation, Park 79 is expected to be completed this summer.

Amenities include community and meeting rooms, a landscaped garden, and supportive services for seniors from Project FIND. Residents will also have access to programming at Project FIND’s Hamilton Senior Center on West 73rd Street.

“As the price of housing continues to skyrocket across the City, seniors who are living on low, fixed incomes are desperate to find safe, stable and affordable housing; my office has been working with many of them,” Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal said in a statement.

“Under the leadership of David Gilchrist, Project FIND has expanded senior housing options across the West Side and beyond, and I am proud to represent this new development in the New York State Assembly. Park 79 should serve as a model for the city: when the will is there, we have the ability to transform former hotel into units of 100% affordable and supportive housing for low-income and formerly homeless seniors.”

Qualifying New Yorkers can apply for the affordable units until August 5, 2022. Complete details on how to apply are available here. Questions regarding this offer must be referred to NYC’s Housing Connect department by dialing 311.

If you don’t qualify for the housing lotteries mentioned, visit CityRealty.com’s no-fee rentals page for other apartment deals in the city.

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