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Bisnow mentions Stage 3's co-founder Andrew Bledsoe and his pooch, hints at upcoming news release...

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[November 18, 2013: Urban Land Magazine. Next Evolution in Micro-Housing: Smarter, Shared, and Modular. During a panel at the 2013 ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago, Chris Bledsoe, chief executive officer of Stage 3 Properties, illustrated the ongoing crisis in affordable housing in places like New York City by showing a Craigslist post for a “room” with three-foot (1 m) ceilings...READ MORE][0]

October 31, 2013: The Urban Land Institute announces Stage 3 Properties, Inc. as a contestant at its Shark Tank panel session slated for Thursday, November 7th, at ULI's Fall Meeting in Chicago.

October 16, 2013: LifeEdited reviews Seattle's newly codified definition of "micro-apartment"... READ MORE

October 14, 2013: SFGate features San Fran couch-for-rent at $1,075 per month... READ MORE

September 22, 2013: PBS NewsHour discusses the micro-living phenomenon... WATCH VIDEO

September 12, 2013: The Urban Land Institute announces Stage 3 Properties, Inc. as the winner of its BIG IDEAS contest. Stage 3 to present at ULI's Fall Meeting in Chicago... READ MORE

July 18, 2013: The Atlantic Cities staff writer Emily Badger asks: "Is It Time to Bring Back the Boarding House?"... READ MORE

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In the page below we include relevant quotes and excerpts from over a dozen news articles published since 2006.  Collectively, these articles depict the evolution of a new life stage – emerging adulthood – and build a compelling case around the opportunity to re-imagine housing solutions that cater to the unmet needs of this demographic, particularly as it pertains to first-time urban renters in major metropolitan markets, like Boston and New York City.  We extend a special thanks and note of acknowledgement to the New York Times for their comprehensive work and expert journalism on this important subject.  For ease of navigation, we’ve organized the content as follows:

    A. Understanding the first-time renter: emerging adults

    1. “Emerging adulthood”: the evolution of a new life stage
    2. Common characteristics of emerging adults: forestalling marriage, delaying home purchases, extending internships
    3. The social significance of communal living among emerging adults
    4. The appeal of hotel-style services and amenities among young professionals
    5. The appeal of the city center and metropolitan living among emerging adults
    6. Sizing up the large and growing population of emerging adults

    B. Inadequacies of the housing search process as experienced by first-time renters

    1. Affordability / Sticker shock
    2. Questionable broker practices
    3. Hidden fees
    4. High minimum income thresholds and the need for parental assistance

    C. How first-time renters are bending antiquated housing stock to meet their needs

    1. Insufficient supply of affordable rental units in New York City
    2. Increasingly subdividing rental units and sacrificing space to improve affordability…
    3. …But at a cost   

    D. A crackdown on illegal subdivides reinforces the need for an evolution in housing stock

    1. New York City has begun a crackdown on illegal subdivides
    2. Many developers are complying with New York City’s crackdown in order to avoid liability

    E. Municipal governing bodies move to craft a policy response

    1. New York City Mayor’s office launches a micro-studio design competition
    2. New York City Comptroller’s office highlights affordability crisis among middle-income households
    3. Boston’s Mayor Menino supports business innovation district and micro-housing
    4. Providence, RI, introduces micro-housing as part of its downtown renaissance
    5. San Francisco revises minimum size requirements to allow studio units less than 400 sqft
    6. Seattle

       

     

    A. Understanding The First-Time Renter: Emerging Adults

     

    1.   Emerging adulthood – the evolution of a new life stage

    “Getting to what we would generally call adulthood is happening later than ever... To some, what we’re seeing is a transient epiphenomenon, the byproduct of cultural and economic forces. To others, the longer road to adulthood signifies something deep, durable and maybe better suited to our neurological hard-wiring. What we’re seeing, they insist, is the dawning of a new life stage – a stage that all of us need to adjust to.”  

     

                            -NYTimes:   What Is It About 20-Somethings? (4/18/2010)

     

       

    “Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, a psychology professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., is leading the movement to view the 20s as a distinct life stage, which he calls ‘emerging adulthood.’ He says that what is happening now is analogous to what happened a century ago, when social and economic changes helped create adolescence – a stage we take for granted but one that had to be recognized by psychologists, accepted by society and accommodated by institutions that served the young. Similar changes at the turn of the 21st century have laid the groundwork for another new stage, between the age of 18 and the late 20s.”

     

                            -NYTimes: What Is It About 20-Somethings? (4/18/2010)

     

       

    Recent decades have witnessed an ever-more-pronounced blur between the phases of childhood and adulthood. This perhaps receives greater visual expression in New York, where hipster fashion embeds a continued wistfulness for early life. I was reminded of this one afternoon recently, when….I noticed a young   mother in knee socks looking only a few years older than her toddler.”

     

                            -NYTimes:   Offspring Who Cling to the Nest (6/23/2012)

     

       

    “For most of American history, people would move out of their parents’ homes only after they got married. But the rise of college-bound young adults in the 1960s, coupled with rising American mid-century affluence and a labor force opening to women in the 1970s, helped create a new life stage of independent living.”

     

                            -Associated Press: Solo Living Drops in Manhattan, Rises Elsewhere (9/7/2011)

           

     

    2.   Three common characteristics of emerging adults: forestalling marriage, delaying first home purchases and extending internships, paving the way for shared rental housing

         

    “It’s happening all over, in all sorts of families, not just young people moving back home but also young people taking longer to reach adulthood overall. It’s a development that predates the current economic doldrums, and no one knows yet what the impact will be – on the prospects of the young men and women; on the parents on whom so many of them depend; on society, built on the expectation of an orderly progression in which kids finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and eventually retire to live on pensions supported by the next crop of kids who finish school, grow up, start careers, make a family and on and on. The traditional cycle seems to have gone off course, as young people remain untethered to romantic partners or to permanent homes, going back to school for lack of better options, traveling, avoiding commitments, competing ferociously for unpaid internships or temporary (and often grueling) Teach for America jobs, forestalling the beginning of adult life.”

     

                            -NYTimes: What Is It About 20-Somethings? (4/18/2010)

       

     

    A study of recent college graduates conducted by researchers at Rutgers University and released last week found that 40 percent of the participants had delayed making a major purchase, like a home or car, because of college debt, while slightly more than a quarter had put off continuing their education or had moved in with relatives to save money. Roughly half of the surveyed graduates had a full-time job…. About two-thirds of bachelor’s degree recipients borrow money to attend college, either from the government or private lenders, according to a Department of Education survey of 2007-8 graduates; the total number of borrowers is most likely higher since the survey does not track borrowing from family members. By contrast, 45 percent of 1992-93 graduates borrowed money; that survey included family borrowing as well as government and private loans.”

     

                            -NYTimes: A Generation Hobbled by the Soaring Cost of College (5/12/2012)

       

     

    “The day Michael Anselmo signed a lease on his first   apartment in New York City, he lost his job at Buck Consultants LLC…. Two years later he’s still hesitant to buy a home or even a road bike…. ‘Buying a house is just further out on the timeline for me than it used to be.’ Anselmo and many of his peers are wary about making large purchases after entering adulthood in the deepest recession and weakest recovery since World War II. Confronting a jobless rate above 8 percent since 2009 and student-loan debt hitting about $1 trillion, 20-to-34-year-olds are renting apartments, cars and even clothing to save money and stay flexible.  As the Great Depression shaped the attitudes of a generation from 1929 until the early years of World War II, so have the financial crisis and   its aftermath affected the outlook of young consumers like Anselmo, said Cliff Zukin, a professor of public policy and political science at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey. ‘This is a generation that is scared of commitment, wants to be light on their feet and needs to adjust to whatever happens,’ said Zukin, who’s researched the effects of the recession on recent college graduates. ‘What once was seen as a solid investment, like a house or a car, is now seen as a ball and chain with a lot of risk to it.’

     

                            -Bloomberg News: Recession Generation Chooses to Rent, Not Buy Houses to Clothes (8/8/2012)

       

     

    The median age at first marriage in the early 1970s, when the baby boomers were young, was 21 for women and 23 for men; by 2009 it had climbed to 26 for women and 28 for men, five years in a little more than a generation.”

     

                            -NYTimes: What Is It About 20-Somethings? (4/18/2010)

       

     

    “We’re in the thick of what one sociologist calls the ‘changing timetable for adulthood.’ Sociologists traditionally define the ‘transition to adulthood’ as marked by five milestones: completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying and having a child. In 1960, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had, by the time they reached 30, passed all five milestones. Among 30-year-olds in 2000, according to data from the United States Census Bureau, fewer than half of the women and one-third of the men had done so. A Canadian study reported that a typical 30-year-old in 2001 had completed the same number of milestones as a 25-year-old in the early ‘70s.”

     

                            -NYTimes: What Is It About 20-Somethings? (4/18/2010)

       

     

    Today young people don’t expect to marry until their late 20s, don’t expect to start a family until their 30s, and don’t expect to be on track for a rewarding career until much later than their parents were. So they make decisions about their futures that reflect this wider time horizon. Many of them would not be ready to take on the trappings of adulthood any earlier even if the opportunity arose.

     

                            -NYTimes: What Is It About 20-Somethings? (4/18/2010)

       

     

    “According to an analysis of census data by the Queens College sociologist Andrew A. Beveridge last week, 45 percent of the city’s 22- to 24-year-olds live at home. Among those ages 22 to 39, nearly a quarter — 22 percent — do. These numbers have increased since 2000 and went up more during the recession…. We   might also consider that New York is a Mecca for that agent of extended adolescence, the internship. As Anne Kreamer, a writer specializing in workplace issues, told me: ‘Post-recession, businesses are fueling growth through permanent interns. There’s an unwillingness of companies to actually put the real numbers of employees on their balance sheets, which means kids into their late 20s are working for zip and have no health insurance either.’”

     

                            -NYTimes: Offspring Who Cling to the Nest (6/23/2012)

           

     

    3.   The social significance of communal living among emerging adults

         

    “Highlyann Krasnow, the executive vice president of the Developers Group, said befriending the neighbors is especially common in buildings where there are younger buyers and somewhat lower price points.”

     

                            -NYTimes: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (4/29/2007)  

       

     

    “The anticipation of collectively shaping the atmosphere of the building begins well before the owners move in, thanks to building blogs and Champagne opening celebrations. ‘It’s a bonding experience,’ Mr. Osher said. Ms. Candiano agreed, saying that moving into 555 West 23rd Street ‘was like the first year of college.’”

     

                            -NYTimes: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (4/29/2007)

       

     

    “At a Chelsea condo that opened last year, groups of residents have organized Friday night cocktails and floor mixers, and gathered on Sundays to watch ‘The Sopranos.’ Some are planning a rotating party this summer.”

     

                            -NYTimes:   A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (4/29/2007)

       

     

    “When [Chris Bauer] wasn’t traveling for his job, in private equity consulting, he was crashing on friends’ couches. He intended to sublet a room in a shared apartment, at least for the short term, hoping it would allow him time to find a more permanent roommate situation. Besides, that way he could meet new people who, in an ideal world, would become friends. ‘I think it’s lonely to live alone if you don’t know the city very well,’ Mr. Bauer said.”

     

                            -NYTimes: River-to-River Views, on a Budget (8/30/2012)

           

     

    4.   The appeal of hotel-style services and amenities among young professionals

                                                             

    “As a serial entrepreneur and dotcom millionaire, Neil Patel can afford to be picky about his choice of luxury residence. But   instead of a country mansion, penthouse apartment or gated community in the suburbs, the founder of internet start-ups KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg has set up home in a location he says best suits his hectic work schedule -- the Hyatt Hotel in downtown Seattle. ‘I don't know how to cook or clean and I make more money if I focus on work rather than on the other stuff in life. Staying in a hotel where all these   things are provided enables me to do that,’ he adds…. ‘You can get room service, you can get maid service, there's a restaurant and a bar downstairs, there's even little cafes and coffee shops,’ says Patel…. ‘In addition to that you've got all the gym stuff, there's a full service spa, steam room saunas and a swimming pool as well,’ he adds. Patel describes his own hotel abode as a compact luxury environment, without being too ostentatious.”

     

                            -CNN.com:   Dotcom Millionaire Who Lives in a Hotel (5/24/2012)

       

     

    “But whilst enthusiastic about the lifestyle facilities hotel life offers, Patel is equally positive on the hotel's ability to double up as a business base if necessary. He says this enables him to work from home if he chooses, as well as meet and greet clients or business partners on the premises, meaning no valuable time is wasted traveling. ‘Let's say I have a lunch meet, I can just do it downstairs,’ says Patel. ‘I can do my business meetings there, my coffee meetings there. We have meeting rooms for businesses. We have small ones and we have medium ones and we even have grand ballrooms where we can have conferences. Me and my buddies have actually thrown a conference in the hotel and we have fitted 100-plus people in one of their smaller rooms,’ he adds…. For a young millionaire with an unshakeable focus on working life, ‘there really aren't that many drawbacks,’ he adds. ‘For a guy like me, it's ideal.’”

     

                            -CNN.com: Dotcom Millionaire Who Lives in a Hotel (5/24/2012)

       

     

    5.  The appeal of the city center and metropolitan living among New York City’s  emerging adults

    “The building was ‘unique, especially for the East Village,’ their agent, Mr. Mitnik, said. ‘But Jim wanted more amenities.’…. So Mr. Mitnik took him to the Victory… It had amenities galore — even a basketball court and a putting green. A one-bedroom, however, renting for around $3,390, was too small to convert to two. And “I don’t think Chris was willing to pay for a two-bedroom,” Mr. Francescon said. Those were around $4,800. At the Ritz Plaza on West 48th Street in the theater district, a one-bedroom, with a rent of $3,660, had big closets and a balcony with a river-to-river view. It was convertible to two with a temporary wall. Mr. Francescon loved it. ‘We eyeballed it and figured it would work well,’ he said. With such a conversion, Mr. Mitnik said, ‘you get luxury living at a fraction of the cost.’ (Two-bedrooms in the building start at around $6,000.) Inside, they are enjoying their new home. Mr. Francescon knew he would. The amenities include a swimming pool and a   free continental breakfast on weekday mornings. ‘I was assuming I’d have none   of these, so they are all additive to me,’ Mr. Bauer said. ‘Having a nicer   home does have its benefits.’”

     

                            -NYTimes: River-to-River Views, on a Budget (8/30/2012)

       

     

    “As for Mr. Francescon, who was still in Denver, he said, ‘I told Chris to get something nice and I would approve it.’ But what was nice? To Mr. Bauer, nice meant a bonus feature or two, like some extra space or maybe a roof deck. To Mr. Francescon, nice meant a high-rise with a doorman.

     

                            -NYTimes: River-to-River Views, on a Budget (8/30/2012)

       

     

    “[Sarah Walsh’s] room is just 6 1/2 by 8 1/2 feet. Because there's no closet, she keeps her clothes in an armoire in the living room. ‘I could have lived at home, in a giant room with a closet,’ Ms. Walsh said. ‘But you make sacrifices to live here. If you want to be in Manhattan, it means a smaller apartment.

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

       

     

    Ben Craw: "’I have a bed, a desk wedged between the bed and the wall, a folding chair, a window with a great view of the skyline,’ he said. ‘That's really all I need. I don't have a lot of worldly possessions.’ Mr. Craw uses his quarters mostly for sleeping and working on his laptop.”

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

       

     

    “Although her charming aerie has a working fireplace and a courtyard view, here is what Ms. [Gab] Stolarski’s [170 sqft] apartment does not have: a couch; tchotchkes; specks of dirt; paperwork (‘I’m 25,’ she shrugs. ‘I’m a digital girl.’); food. Yet the studio, which was represented by Prudential Douglas Elliman, perfectly matches her priorities. A clotheshorse who doesn’t cook, she stores sweaters, not soy sauce, in her kitchen cabinets. She covers her stove burners with a cutting board — not for serving cheese and crackers, but as a counter area to dump sunglasses and her purse du jour. More important, she lives in her favorite neighborhood, near transportation, and for a rent that is almost bearable: $1,745 a month (Manhattan one-bedroom rents have inched over $3,300). As for entertaining guests? Like many others with no space to spare, she usually meets friends at bars and restaurants.

     

                            -NYTimes: Shrink to Fit (9/21/2012)

       

     

    “Last year, [Joseph] Rosati and two friends were living in Murray Hill, paying $3,700 for a two-bedroom apartment that they had converted to three. When the landlord decided to raise the rent to $4,300 last July, Mr. Rosati decided to shop for a new place. The group could not find anything acceptable for under $4,700. They decided that if they were going to shell out that kind of money, they might as well spend a little bit   more to be in a neighborhood they liked better. ‘I did not move to New York City to live in Hoboken or Jersey City,” Mr. Rosati declared.’

     

                            -NYTimes: The City of Sky-High Rent (4/20/2012)

       

     

    ’Instead of staying up in our apartment, we always stay here,’ said Annie Jose, 54, who was nibbling a bagel and raisin bread at Orion one morning [at a local bagel shop]. ‘Sometimes we have two, three tables joined so everyone can talk.’”

     

                            -NYTimes: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (4/29/2007)  

       

     

    “[Chris Bauer] wasn’t fussy. For him, a small room with a closet would do. ‘I expected to live in a shoe box and I didn’t care,’ Mr. Bauer said. ‘That’s what, in my mind, people do when they move to New York City. You work your way up from there.’”

     

                            -NYTimes: River-to-River Views, on a Budget (8/30/2012)

       

     

    New York City tops our list as the No. 1 city for young professionals. That likely comes as a shock to, well, no one. Many of America's best companies, as determined by Forbes rankings of the best 400 big businesses and best 200 small businesses, including financial giant Goldman Sachs and media conglomerate News Corp. are in New York. Throw in New York's bars, clubs and world-class dining, and you get a city teaming with young professionals.”

     

                            -Forbes: City Rankings for Young Professionals (7/9/2008)

       

     

    "Young adults swarm to the city, especially those eager to pursue careers in finance, the arts, media and other fields for which New York has long served as the nation's heart. They come to find work, to find one another and to hang out in neighborhoods like Williamsburg and the Lower East Side that have become almost geographic extensions of college dorm life."

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

       

     

    Sam Tolman: "[Living in the suburbs] crimps his social life. ‘I don't feel as if I'm part of the city. Most of my friends are in Manhattan, and going out is a pain.’"

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

       

     

    Andrea Fisher: "’The appeal of [Manhattan] compensates for the tight quarters. Besides,’ she said, ‘you're not looking to just hang out in your room.’ There's no room to work in the living room, so I work and eat at the kitchen table. Again and again she returned to the appeal of living in this part of the City."

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

       

     

    ’The city as living room is key,’ said Susanne Schindler, an architect with Team R8, a design group that contributed to Making Room, an initiative of the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, which explores designs for diverse housing options, including micro-units.”

     

                            -NYTimes: Shrink to Fit (9/21/2012)

       

     

    Ben Craw: "He can't imagine being anyplace but the city. ‘Ever since I was a little kid I always loved New York. I couldn't wait to get out of my house. In terms of the jobs I wanted, the social life I wanted, I didn't care where I lived as long as it was in the city. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do, but I knew that whatever it was, it would be most possible here.’”

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

       

     

    “Ms. [Gab] Stolarski treasures the quiet and solitude, not least because she doesn’t spend much time at [her 170 sqft studio] home. She has a crowded, noisy life outside, exploring the city, and gathers with friends for hours in Washington Square Park, ‘having an awesome time, looking at the people,’ she said. They consider the park their communal living room.

     

                            -NYTimes: Shrink to Fit (9/21/2012)

           

     

    6. Sizing up the large and growing population of emerging adults in New York City

         

    "New York City was home to nearly 1.28 million people in their 20s last year, up from 1.21 million in 1980."

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

       

     

    “According to census data, more than 25,000 graduates ages 22 to 28 moved to the city in 2006, and their median salary was $35,600.”

     

                            -NYTimes: Finding Your First Apartment (4/20/2008)

         

     

    B.   Inadequacies of The Housing Search Process as Experienced by New York City’s Emerging Adults


         

    1.   Affordability / sticker shock

                               

    “In March, [Citi Habitats] found, the average rent in Manhattan — now $3,418 a month — surpassed the all-time high set in the real estate frenzy of 2007…. The last time rents shot up in a similar fashion, they were tied to a strong economy, low unemployment and booming business on Wall Street. But this spring, Manhattan rental prices seem to be divorced from the larger economic picture…. That disconnect has only increased resentment levels among many tenants, already reeling from rent increases.”

     

                            -NYTimes: The City of Sky-High Rent (4/20/2012)

       

     

    The allure of living in New York City, particularly for young singles, is as inexorable as the cruel math of making it happen. With rents heading in one direction only and more people wanting to live here, it’s a good bet that most people who move to the city will get considerably less space than they had hoped. But after they work through all the mental moves required to justify their choice to the dumbfounded — ‘You’re   paying that much for this?’ — comes the real adjustment: nesting in a space scarcely bigger than a bird’s nest.”

     

                            -NYTimes: Shrink to Fit (9/21/2012)

       

     

    The first shock for a first-time renter will probably be the prices. Consider that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom in the Village is more than $3,100 and that the average for a studio is just over $2,200. The average rent for a one-bedroom in a doorman building anywhere in Manhattan is close to $3,500.”

     

                            -NYTimes: Finding Your First Apartment (4/20/2008)

       

     

    “Paul Hunt, an agent at CitiHabitats who specializes in rentals, said that when he shows prospective renters what their budget can really buy, they are sometimes so appalled that ‘they think I’m trying to fool them or something, and they run away and I don’t ever hear from them again.’ Alternatively, the renter checks his expectations and grudgingly decides to raise the price limit, look in other neighborhoods or get a roommate.”

     

                            -NYTimes: Finding Your First Apartment (4/20/2008)

       

     

    “It’s late August, and an annual Manhattan roundelay is winding down. The new college graduates have been pouring into town from all over the country since June, short of money and time, but long on hope, specifically the hope of finding a safe haven on this island, which is to say a legal rental for under $1,500 a bedroom. ‘These apartments are in high demand and usually disappear within 24 hours,’ said Gordon Golub, senior managing director at CitiHabitats, the largest rental agency in the city.”

     

                            -NYTimes: The Housing Virgins of Manhattan (8/24/2006)

       

     

    "Between 2006 and 2008, according to the Planning Department, the portion of New Yorkers in their 20s who moved to the city from other states and who paid at least 35 percent of their income for rent was 42 percent, up from 39 percent in 2000."

     

                            -NYTimes: When Finding An Apartment Is Only Half The Battle (11/29/2010)

       

     

    The dream: Finding a one-bedroom, one-bath apartment in an elevator building with a doorman in Greenwich Village for $2,000 a month.  The Reality: nearly impossible.

     

                            -NYTimes: Finding Your First Apartment (4/20/2008)

       

     

    “Some renters feeling the squeeze have resigned themselves to paying more for less. When Ms. Barrocas, 26, first found her one-bedroom apartment with views of the East River on the 19th floor of a Murray Hill   apartment building in 2010, it cost $2,550 a month. She and her boyfriend quickly signed up for a two-year lease. With the lease set to expire in June, she recently received word that her landlord wanted to raise the rent by more than $500 a month. ‘I started freaking out,’ Ms. Barrocas said. ‘It is a huge increase.’

     

                            -NYTimes: The City of Sky-High Rent (4/20/2012)

       

     

    “A one-bedroom, however, renting for around $3,390, was too small to convert to two. And ‘I don’t think Chris was willing to pay for a two-bedroom,’ Mr. Francescon said. Those were around $4,800.”

     

                            -NYTimes: River-to-River Views, on a Budget (8/30/2012)

       

     

    “According to an analysis of census data by the Queens College sociologist Andrew A. Beveridge last week, 45 percent of the city’s 22- to 24-year-olds live at home. Among those ages 22 to 39, nearly a quarter — 22 percent — do. These numbers have increased since 2000 and went up more during the recession. A shortage of jobs is obviously to blame, in large part. So, too, is the oppressive cost of housing in the city.

     

                            -NYTimes: Offspring Who Cling to the Nest (6/23/2012)

           

     

    2.   Questionable broker practices

           

    “Craig Newmark, the founder of Craigslist (a San Francisco resident), said last week that monitoring New York City’s housing section is ‘my single biggest project… There are some persistent bad guys and the worst of them I’ve reported to New York State’s Department of State. Real estate in New York is a blood sport. It’s not like anywhere else.

     

                            -NYTimes: The Housing Virgins of Manhattan (8/24/2006)

       

     

    New New Yorkers have encountered every dodge and near-scam that Manhattan’s so-called rogue brokers have to offer – the bait-and-switch, the unreturned fees, the fake bidding wars.

     

                            -NYTimes: The Housing Virgins of Manhattan (8/24/2006)

       

     

    “Ben Snydacker is just 21, and a freshly minted New Yorker. Tall and brash, he’s enjoying his third month in his new job, as a sales assistant for Virgin Records, and his new apartment, a minute space creatively described as a two-bedroom in a rank 19th Century tenement building on Avenue B that he shares with a college roommate (monthly rent: $2,600). It has been a summer of firsts for Mr. Snydacker, a Skidmore   graduate: after scuffling in the city’s rental market, a sometimes lawless agora peopled with good guys, bad guys and all the shape shifters in between, Mr. Snydacker has emerged a little tougher, and emotionally, a little older. He is no longer a housing virgin. ‘It was probably the second most stressful experience of my life… that is, if I retained any memory of having had meningitis when I was 6 months old.”

     

                            -NYTimes: The Housing Virgins of Manhattan (8/24/2006)

       

     

    “They decided to share a two-bedroom, but finding one was no easier an endeavor. On Craigslist, ‘you are finding things that aren’t there any longer,’ Mr. Bauer said. ‘The brokers are putting them up as examples of what they have, and those things are turning over daily. Finding an ideal situation on Craigslist was to me impossible. It is lightning in a bottle.’

     

                            -NYTimes: River-to-River Views, on a Budget (8/30/2012)

           

     

    3.   Hidden fees (broker fees, deposits and temporary wall installations)

           

    In addition to a security deposit, some landlords also want the first and last month’s rent. Tack on a broker’s fee and a prospective renter for that $2,000 apartment is out of pocket nearly $10,000 just to get the keys to the place.

     

                            -NYTimes: Finding Your First   Apartment (4/20/2008)

       

     

    For placing you in an apartment, brokers typically charge 15 percent of the annual rent or 1.8 times the monthly rent, which means $3,600 on a $2,000 apartment.

     

                            -NYTimes: Finding Your First   Apartment (4/20/2008)

       

     

    “Alex Sooy, who moved into a two-bedroom near Union Square last June with his roommate, said he tried looking online for no-fee apartments. ‘We hated to pay the [broker] fee, but it was the easiest way to look at a number of places in a row without having to do so much legwork ourselves.’”

     

                            -NYTimes: Finding Your First Apartment (4/20/2008)

       

     

    “’The cost of a [temporary] wall starts around $700,’ said Mr. Zanger, owner of All Week Walls.”

     

                            -NYTimes: The Fall of Temporary Apartment Walls (7/16/2010)

       

     

    “Ms. Barrocas was not ready to buy, but she could not afford to stay in her current apartment. The landlord would not negotiate. But moving, even if she found a cheaper place, would most likely force her to shell out around $5,000 for broker fees, security deposit and moving costs.

     

                            -NYTimes: The City of Sky-High Rent (4/20/2012)

       

     

    “[The roommates] split the broker fee of 14.5 percent of a year’s rent, in the mid-$6,000s, and the cost for the temporary wall, $1,000.”

     

                            -NYTimes: River-to-River Views, on a Budget (8/30/2012)

           

     

    4.   High minimum income thresholds and the need for parental assistance

         

    To start with, landlords want only tenants who are making 40 times their monthly rent, which means an $80,000 annual salary for a $2,000 apartment.  Those who don’t make 40 times their monthly rent need a guarantor, usually a parent, who in turn must make 80 times the monthly rent.

     

                            -NYTimes: Finding Your First Apartment (4/20/2008)

       

     

    "People who do not make enough to afford their paycheck-devouring rents must find a wealthy relative, a benevolent family friend or perhaps a kidnapped and hypnotized multimillionaire to supply personal financial information and assume responsibility for their leases."

     

                            -NYTimes: When Finding An   Apartment Is Only Half The Battle (11/29/2010)

       

     

    "Rachel Wagner, Emily Coit and Taylor Jewell, recent college graduates discovered that finding such a guardian angel was almost as hard as finding an apartment. They had lined up a $3,400-a-month apartment on the Upper East Side, but could not meet the standard Manhattan landlord requirement that their   combined salaries equal 40 times the monthly rent, or $136,000. So they would need a guarantor making 70 times the rent, $238,000.  Blair Brandt, whose referral company, the Next Step Realty, helped these friends find their broker and guided them through the process, said many graduates arriving in Manhattan had been   facing this problem. The friends’ parents reached an agreement with the landlord by putting several months’ rent in escrow; the friends recently moved in."

     

                            -NYTimes: When Finding An Apartment Is Only Half The Battle (11/29/2010)

       

     

    Many landlords require the same level of financial documentation for both a renter and the guarantor, which means a sheaf of personal records that includes tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, proof of income for stocks or other investments and reference letters. ‘That can be a difficult thing for parents to understand because it is so invasive,’ Mr. Lazarus (an agent for DJK Residential) said.”

     

                            -NYTimes: Finding Your First   Apartment (4/20/2008)

         

     

    C. How   New York City’s Emerging Adults are Bending The City’s Antiquated Housing Stock to Meet Their Needs


         

    1.   Insufficient supply of affordable rental units in New York City

         

    Just 2,229 rental apartments are scheduled to be added to the market this year in Manhattan, a 30 percent drop from the average number over the last seven years…. ‘The amount of rental supply that has come on the market in the last two to three years has simply not kept up with demand,’ [Mario Gaztambide, the vice president for residential asset management of the LeFrak Organization] said.”

     

                            -NYTimes: The City of Sky-High Rent (4/20/2012)

       

     

    “There is evidence that rising rents are driving prospective renters into the sales market. But for those who find buying a home in New York City is not an option — whether because of bad credit, tougher lending standards or lack of a down payment — the choices are limited and often unappealing.

     

                            -NYTimes: The City of Sky-High Rent (4/20/2012)

       

     

    “’There’s going to be limited inventory and a lot of demand,’ Mr. Kotler of Prudential Douglas Elliman said. ‘There just hasn’t been enough rental product built,’ as developers have said that the price of land and the costs of construction in the last few years have made it impractical to build rental buildings. They have instead focused on condominiums.”

     

                            -NYTimes: New York City Renters Cope With Squeeze (5/10/2007)

       

     

    ’In the past decade, affordable housing has been squeezed by Manhattan landlords who are allowed to convert hundreds of rent-controlled and rent-stabilized apartments into market-rate units. There also has been a decline in the number of affordable apartments in many new buildings,’ said Zenaida Mendez, a longtime tenant organizer in Manhattan’s Clinton neighborhood.”

     

                            -Associated Press: Solo Living Drops in Manhattan, Rises Elsewhere (9/7/2011)

           

     

    2.   New York City’s emerging adult population is increasingly subdividing rental units and sacrificing space to improve affordability…

           

    “Landlords and brokers say more and more young people are sharing, even if it means sacrificing a living room to add a bedroom or two. There has also been a surge of interest in the other boroughs, with many neighborhoods reporting record rents of their own.”

     

                            -NYTimes: The City of Sky-High Rent (4/20/2012)

       

     

    "They are doubling, tripling, quadrupling and even quintupling up. According to the New   York City Planning Department, 46 percent of New Yorkers in their 20s who moved to the city from out of state between 2006 and 2008 lived with people to whom they were not related, up from 36 percent in 2000."

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

       

     

    “Donny Zanger, the project manager at All Week Walls, which specializes in installing and removing pressurized walls, said ‘We are growing like crazy. If these walls did not exist in New York, it would be a very difficult situation for students and young professionals… even those who make more money.’

     

                            NYTimes: The Fall of Temporary Apartment Walls (7/16/2010)

       

     

    [All Week   Walls] has put up 300 to 400 [temporary] walls in the past year. There are dozens of similar companies – a testament to just how common the practice of dividing rooms in Manhattan has become over the years.

     

                            -NYTimes: The Fall of Temporary Apartment Walls (7/16/2010)

       

     

    "Even young people in high-paying fields like finance have to make sacrifices. There's the investment banker who can afford only a 450-square-foot studio, and the financial analyst who lives in a third-floor walk-up studio illegally divided into two rooms."

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

       

     

    While young   people in New York have always sought roommates to make life more affordable, they are now crowding so tightly into doorman buildings in prime neighborhoods like the Upper East Side that they may violate city codes….   ‘It’s only going to get more difficult to rent an apartment in New York City,’ said Andy Joynt, a real estate economist with the Boston research firm Property and Portfolio Research. ‘While   rents continue to rise, it’s not sending people out of the city. There’s still enough of a cachet.’

     

                            -NYTimes: New York City Renters Cope With Squeeze (5/10/2007)

       

     

    Renters without high salaries have not been shut out of the market. They are squeezing in extra roommates or making alterations as never before much to the frustration of landlords. The rents for one-bedroom apartments in Manhattan average $2,567 a month, and two-bedrooms average $3,854 a month,   according to data from Citi Habitats, a large rental brokerage company, but rents tend to be far higher in coveted neighborhoods like the Upper West Side and TriBeCa.”

     

                            -NYTimes: New York City Renters Cope With Squeeze (5/10/2007)

       

     

    More renters are finding that they cannot afford to stay in the city without resorting to less conventional living arrangements. For the last five years, Mindy Abovitz, 27, a drummer and graphic designer, has been living with four roommates in a 1,500-square-foot loft with one bathroom in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which has become a haven for young people, that rents for $2,600 a month. Her rent is a bargain, she said, because comparable spaces now cost as much as $4,500 a month. To accommodate everyone, the roommates created five bedrooms out of three by building walls from drywall and lumber… Dividing the space has been an affordable solution, Ms. Abovitz said, though the loft becomes crowded when she and her roommates get ready for work or prepare meals. ‘The kitchen and the bathroom are where you find the most traffic,’ she said.”

     

                            NYTimes: New York City Renters Cope With Squeeze (5/10/2007)

       

     

    "In many respects, [the shared apartment rental of] Mr. Cavin Quezada, a 22-year-old aspiring music producer, who lives with two roommates in a three-bedroom apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, mirrors the way large numbers in his age group are living, three years after the Great Recession began."

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

       

     

    “Cullen Hilkene, an agent who ran a CitiHabitats seminar at Princeton University, said ‘It’s better to know sooner rather than later that they need to bring in a roommate because they won’t be able to rent a studio on their own.’”

     

                            -NYTimes: Finding Your First Apartment (4/20/2008)

       

     

    “’I'm paying $3,900 a month for a one bedroom apartment and I need that extra wall for my roommate,’ [a Stuytown renter, begrudging a NYC Buildings Dept mandate to remove pressurized walls].”

     

                            -Lux   Living: Stuytown Blog (3/19/2009)

       

     

    “Record-high rents in the past decade contributed to the drop in single-person households in Manhattan, experts say. Rents averaging $2,000 a month for studios are forcing residents like Mathew Sanders, 27, and Mark Bonner, 29, to share an apartment on the Upper East Side into their late 20s and beyond. The college buddies from Louisiana rent a one-bedroom, 700-square-foot ‘shotgun’ apartment that requires Sanders to walk through Bonner’s sleeping area to get to the front door. The living arrangement sometimes creates awkward moments, especially when it comes to dating potential girlfriends. ‘Living in Manhattan is so irrational,’ said Bonner, an editor. ‘I came here with no job, but I grew up thinking that New York is the greatest city in the world. And if you’re going to make a run at New York — the dream — you should live in Manhattan, in the heart of the city.’”

     

                            -Associated   Press: Solo Living Drops in Manhattan, Rises Elsewhere (9/7/2011)

       

     

    “The West Side community had one of the borough’s biggest declines in single-person households. It is home to many actors, musicians and stagehands who work in nearby Broadway and off-Broadway theaters and restaurants. Their incomes have shrunk because of the economic downturn and the use of taped music in Broadway shows, at a time when real estate agents estimate that residents need an income of at least $80,000 to live alone in Manhattan in a relatively attractive apartment. ‘There are a lot of double-up families   because of the lack of affordable housing,’ Mendez said. ‘People who come out of college and are making $45,000 and $50,000 cannot afford to rent a Manhattan apartment alone anymore, so two or three have to live together.’”  

     

                            -Associated Press: Solo Living Drops in Manhattan, Rises Elsewhere (9/7/2011)

       

     

    A one-bedroom, however, renting for around $3,390, was too small to convert to two. And ‘I don’t think Chris was willing to pay for a two-bedroom,’ Mr. Francescon said. Those were around $4,800. The Ritz Plaza on West 48th Street in the theater district, a one-bedroom, with a rent of $3,660… was convertible to two with a temporary wall. Mr. Francescon loved it. ‘We eyeballed it and figured it would work well,’ he said. With such a conversion, Mr. Mitnik said, ‘you get luxury living at a fraction of the cost.’ (Two-bedrooms in the building start at around $6,000.) They summoned Mr. Bauer who said: ‘I high-tailed it over there and said: ‘What are you doing? This is not O.K., I can’t afford this.’’   ‘But Jim was all excited about it. I said, if you can meet me at my budget we can live here, but otherwise it’s not going to work for me.’ The roommates agreed that Mr. Bauer would pay $1,700 for half of the living room and Mr. Francescon would pay $1,960 for the bedroom.

     

                            -NYTimes:   River-to-River Views, on a Budget (8/30/2012)

       

     

    “’I thought I’d crave more space,’ said Lauren Applebaum, 30, who used to live in a 700-square-foot Toronto apartment. In January, when she started graduate school at New York University, she and her Yorkshire terrier moved into a 200-square foot studio on West 75th Street. But after her broker, Citi Habitats’ Rory   Bolger, a studio man himself, showed her tips to expand the room — a cubbyhole divider to screen off her bed; furniture that does double duty, like a dresser-TV stand — ‘I think that extra space would be unnecessary.’

     

                            -NYTimes: Shrink to Fit (9/21/2012)

           

     

    3.   …Creating health risks and fire hazards in the process

         

    “Beth Israel Hospital noticed an increase in Stuyvesant Town residents catching tuberculosis. After several buildings were inspected by local health officials it was determined that the pressurized walls blocked out sunlight   and prevented air from circulating in the luxury apartments. ‘This is inexcusable,’ said a health inspector who asked to remain anonymous. ‘New York City hasn't seen such unhealthy living conditions since the days of the tenements on the Lower East Side.

     

                            -Lux Living: Tuberculosis Scare Brings Down the Walls (7/14/2008)

       

     

    “In Stuytown, ‘the fake walls created a tenement-like, TB friendly environment that blocked sufficient amounts of air and light from entering the apartment in addition to being a fire hazard to first responders.’”

     

                            -Lux Living: Fake Walls Continue to Haunt Tish-Spy (1/21/2009)

       

     

    "The   [Bronx fire] case highlights the persistent fire hazard of using temporary walls for illegal apartment conversions -- a common problem in a city where rents are high and space is always in demand. Across the city, such makeshift warrens can be found in neighborhoods popular with college students, recent   graduates on their first jobs and immigrants.

     

                            -Salon.com: Temporary Walls Turn NYC Apartments into Firetraps (1/21/2009)

           

     

    4.   Gravitating toward outer-boroughs, enduring safety risks and an inconvenient   commute

             

    That elusive $2,000 one-bedroom apartment, for example, can be found in neighborhoods like Harlem… probably in a non-doorman building.”

     

                            -NYTimes: Finding Your First Apartment (4/20/2008)

       

     

    "Does his mother, who's paying his rent, worry about him? ‘I don't think I've given her enough details for her to worry,’   Mr. Cavin Quezada said. ‘I'll see 20 guys ride by on motorcycles, or hear gunshots outside my window.’”

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings   Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

       

     

    "Statistical evidence suggests that today's new arrivals have a tougher struggle to live well, or even adequately, compared with their counterparts of just a decade ago. Battered by the one-two punch of persistent unemployment and the city's high housing costs, they are squeezing into ever smaller spaces and living in neighborhoods once considered dicey and remote."

     

                            -NYTimes: When Finding An Apartment Is Only Half The Battle (11/29/2010)

       

     

    Sam Tolman: "The commute [from the suburbs] is punishing. To get to his Frank151 job, which starts at 11 a.m., Mr. Tolman leaves the house at 9:30 and walks 15 minutes to catch the No. 7 bus. That takes him to the No. 1 train, from which he switches to the 2, the L and the R before arriving at his office."

     

                            -NYTimes: Price 20-Somethings Pay to Live in the City (11/12/2010)

           

     

    5.   More desperate measures taken by some

         

    “Like the legions of aspiring poets, tap dancers and musicians who came before her, Nina Rubin, a 29-year-old graduate of Wesleyan University, has struggled to find halfway decent housing in New York. Earlier this year, she ended up in her most unusual home yet: an office.

     

                            -NYTimes: New York City Renters Cope With Squeeze (5/10/2007)

       

     

    “As the apartment-hunting season begins, fueled by college graduates and other new arrivals, real estate brokers say radical solutions among young, well-educated newcomers to the city are becoming more common, because New York’s rental market is the tightest it has been in seven years. High-paid bankers and corporate lawyers snap up the few available apartments, often leading more modestly paid professionals and students to resort to desperate measures to find homes.”

     

                            -NYTimes: New York City Renters Cope With Squeeze (5/10/2007)

         

     

    D. New York City Launches a Crackdown on Illegal Subdivides, Reinforcing The Need for an Evolution in Housing Stock


         

    1.   New York City has begun a crackdown on illegal subdivides

         

    As the city aggressively enforces a long existing but widely ignored code, walls are falling across Manhattan, radically altering the housing landscape for scores of young professionals. Thousands of renters are being told that the walls that have been put up over the years without approval from the Department of Buildings must come down… ‘The impact has already been dramatic,’ said Gordon Golub, the senior managing director for rentals at CitiHabitats.

     

                            -NYTimes: The Fall of Temporary Apartment Walls (7/16/2010)

       

     

    “The New   York City Dept. of Buildings staged a sting operation last spring, visiting apartments listed for rent on Craigslist, and found that of 62 apartments —   renting for $750 to $1,200 a month — 54 were illegal conversions. 33 were in such bad shape that the city ordered they be immediately vacated.”

     

                            -NYTimes: Temporary Walls Prove Resistant (12/24/2010)

       

     

    ’[The removal of temporary walls] is a cataclysmic change and is the future of Manhattan share situations,’ said Daniela Zakarya, a broker at the Real Estate Group of New York… Many of her clients are young professionals looking to share places in doorman buildings where the average rent for a one-bedroom ranges from $3,000 to $3,500. As she has shown apartments in recent weeks, she said some potential renters have been surprised to find that the cost-saving room-splitting arrangements their friends made just a year ago are no longer an option. ‘Everyone who wishes to save money on rent and convert their apartments may need to get used to this,’ Ms. Zakarya said.

     

                            -NYTimes: The Fall of Temporary Apartment Walls (7/16/2010)

       

     

    The [ruling against] the pressurized wall system is just another setback for Tishman Speyer in their efforts to increase the dwindling occupancy rate in the 110-building complex. The walls were offered to tenants, at their own expense, as an option that allowed them to divide their living room into two separate rooms. The additional bedroom would allow tenants to have a "luxury" roommate in order to afford a $3,500 a month, one-bedroom apartment.”

     

                            -Lux Living: Stuytown’s Pressure Walls Pose a Threat to First Responders (7/17/2008)

       

     

    “I moved into Stuy town in February 2006, which was when the [temporary] wall was put up through the company they sent us to. I think the Door Company? It does in fact block off the large window in the living room. To my understanding (through your website as well as others,) these walls were supposed to be   taken down at the end of the current tenant's leases when the FDNY issued the order in 2006.

     

                            -Lux Living: Stuytown Blog (2/23/2009)

       

     

    "’Illegal walls can put tenants and first responders' lives in danger. Owners and tenants must obtain a permit to safely install a wall,’ said [Dept of Buildings] agency spokeswoman Kate Lindquist, whose department gets thousands of complaints annually related to illegal conversions.

     

                            -Salon.com: Temporary Walls Turn NYC Apartments into Firetraps (1/21/2009)

       

     

    ’Young people making a fraction of those salaries are doubling up in small spaces and creating housing code violations,’ said Jamie Heiberger-Jacobsen, a real estate lawyer with her own practice. She is representing landlords in 26 cases that claim overcrowding or illegal alterations in elevator buildings in   Murray Hill, the Upper East and Upper West Sides and the Lower East Side. A year ago, she handled a half-dozen such cases. Ms. Heiberger-Jacobsen said she was seeing the overcrowding not only in tenement-type buildings, but also in doorman buildings. ‘It really does create fire hazards,’ she said. ‘You can’t just have beds all over the place.’ But more renters are finding that they cannot afford to stay in the city without resorting to less conventional living arrangements.”

     

                            -NYTimes: New York City Renters Cope With Squeeze (5/10/2007)

       

     

    The current focus on temporary walls is driven by two developments: prosecutros’ decision to level manslaughter charges at the owners of a building where a fatal fire occurred in 2005 and, more recently, the city’s drive to eliminate illegally installed termporary walls in Stuyvesant Town, the sprawling complex between 14th and 234rd Streets on the East Side.”

     

                            -NYTimes: The Fall of Temporary Apartment Walls (7/16/2010)

       

     

    Tony Sclafani, a spokesman for the Department of Buildings, said the city’s regulations had not changed. He emphasized that a work permit had always been required to add a wall. ‘The addition of a partition, pressurized wall, or other floor to ceiling divider, even if intended as a temporary installation, results in a change to the layout of an apartment,’ he said. ‘To get a work permit, one must hire an architect or engineer to prepare plans of the proposed layout and other construction details as well as to apply for plan approval,’ Mr. Sclafani said. ‘After the plan is approved, the contractor must get a work permit. After the work is complete, the architect or engineer must inspect it and then sign off on the job at the Department of Buildings.’ Certainly, thousands of renters have skirted these rules in the past without penalty.

     

                            -NYTimes: The Fall of Temporary Apartment Walls (7/16/2010)

           

     

    2.   Many developers are complying with New York City’s crackdown, further exacerbating housing challenges

         

    “Five years ago, there were 12 buildings in Murray Hill willing to turn a blind eye to the illegally subdivided units that permeated their buildings.  Today, there are just four.”

     

                            -Stage 3 Properties, Inc.: Interview with Scott Heller of The Heller Organization (3/28/2012)

       

     

    City officials note that it has long been illegal to install a floor-to-ceiling wall without a permit from the Department of Buildings, even though landlords as well as tenants have often disregarded this requirement. But the strict enforcement at Stuyvesant Town has prompted many landlords to get into   compliance.

     

                            -NYTimes: The Fall of Temporary Apartment Walls (7/16/2010)

       

     

    Since [the Bronx fire in 2005 that led to two firefighters’ deaths], the Department of   Buildings has cracked down on the most dangerous situations, issuing 1,200 vacate orders in 2009 for people living in illegally subdivided apartments, the majority in Queens. Manhattan shares drew little attention until recently, when landlords and real estate agents could not help hearing the rumble of walls falling in Stuyvesant Town.

     

                            -NYTimes: The Fall of Temporary Apartment Walls (7/16/2010)

       

     

    “After graduating from Duke University this spring, Karan Sabharwal landed a job in finance in New York City. He had a plan to make Manhattan living affordable. He would lease a nice one bedroom apartment, convert it to a two-bedroom space with a temporary wall and split the rent with a friend. But when he went to check out the Rivergate, a high-rise apartment building in Kips Bay, he was told by the property manager that partitions were no longer allowed. She said, ‘we have adopted the policy, like many other buildings in the   neighborhood, that you will not be able to put up the full wall anymore.’….  The company managing the   Rivergate has already informed hundreds of residents that even if they installed walls with the building’s approval, or moved into an apartment that already had such walls, they will have to rip them out if they are not up to   code. In a statement, the company said that because the Department of Buildings had ‘greatly restricted’ the use of walls to subdivide rooms, ‘previously installed walls which were believed to be legally installed have to be removed.’

     

                            -NYTimes: The Fall of Temporary Apartment Walls (7/16/2010)

       

     

    “Meanwhile, many renters new to the city find themselves in a position similar to that of Mr. Sabharwal, the Duke graduate. ‘I heard that if you have a month, that is plenty of time to find something. But in light of the crackdown on temporary walls, his options seem more limited and he might have to reassess his $1,600 budget.

     

                            -NYTimes: The Fall of Temporary Apartment Walls (7/16/2010)

       

     

    They want to come inspect the fake wall that we had installed to convert a one bedroom to two. We did remove the 3rd unnecessary wall that they make you install for "building code" because it makes the living room tiny. We were clearly ratted out by the guy that installed the doorsweep. Here we go I guess."

     

                            -Lux Living: Stuytown Blog (3/19/2009)

                       

     

    E. New York City Governing Bodies Move to Craft a Policy Response


         

    1.   Mayor’s office launches a micro-studio design competition

    The [Bloomberg] administration is trying to jump-start a model for small-space affordable housing before the mayor leaves office in January 2014. (Officials declined to put a specific dollar figure on ‘affordable.’) Earlier this month, the city received 33 proposals, from as far afield as London and Amsterdam, for a building of at least 50 micro-units on East 27th Street, replacing what is now a parking lot. The winning proposal is expected to be announced in December, with groundbreaking planned, fingers crossed, for December 2013.”  

                            -NYTimes: Shrink to Fit (9/21/2012)

       

     

    “The goal [of the Bloomberg administration’s micro-studio design competition], said city housing officials, is to help singles remain in New York, contributing to its financial and creative lifeblood. According to the mayor’s office, the city has 1.8 million one- and two-person households, but scarcely half the available housing scaled to fit — only one million studios and one-bedroom apartments. The need for smaller housing will only increase: planning officials project that by 2030, the population will grow by 900,000, most of whom will not be in traditional nuclear families.”

     

                            -NYTimes: Shrink to Fit (9/21/2012)

       

    2.  Comptroller’s office highlights affordability crisis among middle-income  households

    City Comptroller John Liu released a report last Wednesday stating that rising rents are increasingly putting pressure on middle-class families. The new report showed that half of all city households typically spend more than 30% of their income on rent alone, compared to 26% nationally. Rent becomes officially unaffordable when it goes over 30%, according to federal benchmarks. Middle-income apartment renters, defined as people earning between $35,000 and $75,000 annually, face the most pressure in Manhattan,   where 45% pay rent that falls into the officially unaffordable bracket.”

     

                            -LuxuryRentalsManhattan: High Rents Squeezing Middle-Class Families in New York (9/26/2012)

       

     

    “[The Comptroller report showed that] currently, 30% of New Yorkers are devoting upwards of half their income to rent alone, according to the study. This is becoming enough to drive the middle-class from the city, Mr. Liu said. ‘Working families should not be forced to leave town or live in inferior housing,’ he said. ‘We need to invest in affordable housing for middle-income renters so that our city is not only home to the the very wealthy and the very poor but also to the vast majority of New Yorkers who fall in between.’

     

                            -LuxuryRentalsManhattan: High Rents Squeezing Middle-Class Families in New York (9/26/2012)

       

     

    Is there any relief in sight? The comptroller’s study, titled ‘Rents Through the Roof’, doesn’t think so. In 2000, 23% of the city’s rental units were unaffordable to middle-income households, and that number jumped to 38% in 2010. In addition, New York City's rents are still rising and the vacancy rate is at an all-time low… Approximately 70% of New Yorkers rent their homes, compared with only 30% nationally. In addition, the vacancy rate of rental housing is only 3% in New York city and falls below 1% at peak times in the year. The national vacancy rate for rentals tops out at 10%.”

     

                            -LuxuryRentalsManhattan: High Rents Squeezing Middle-Class Families in New York (9/26/2012)