The 80/20 Rental: A Manhattan Trend

Manhattan Luxury Rentals - 80/20 RentalDiversity is a term long associated with the melting pot that is NYC, but one rarely synonymous with Manhattan luxury rental apartments. However, in the past few years, dozens of luxury rental buildings have been developed with the financial assistance of the 80/20 program, which aims to provide affordable housing with a luxurious twist. This program, which has become especially popular since 2008, requires that 80% of the luxury apartments in the building utilizing this policy are rented at market-rate prices, while the remaining 20% are offered below market. But while many low-income families will benefit, at times living literally across the hall from their wealthier neighbors, those with higher incomes are poised to profit as well.

In order to qualify for one of these discounted luxury apartments, prospective tenants must make about half of the average income in the building’s neighborhood. This is not the only requirement, and in fact, applicants are forced to go through a rigorous screening process. Roughly 10,000 applications are submitted for every 100 available apartments, so landlords have the freedom to be quite selective, with around sixty percent of prospective low-income residents failing to qualify from the very beginning. The subsidized residents that pass screening live amongst their market-rate neighbors, rather than in separate buildings that were created in past developments, sharing the same amenities as their neighbors and creating a diverse and appreciative environment in which it can be difficult to tell who is paying what rate. There are other benefits both resident types of 80/20 Manhattan rentals enjoy. The rents for market-rate residents in 80/20 rental buildings tend to rise more slowly than in other Manhattan apartment buildings. Market-rate residents may be paying more for their Manhattan luxury rentals than their subsidized neighbors today, but they will save money over the years.

The growing trend of 80/20 can best be seen in the myriad of luxury rental buildings taking advantage of this Manhattan development program. The Emerald Green at 320 West 38th Street, for example, is a prime luxury building with at times a major disparity of income. With a top of the line fitness center, a bamboo floored yoga studio as well as a screening room with a 110 inch screen are available to all of this West Midtown luxury rental’s residents. Several other luxury buildings offering reduced rent luxury apartments span from Tribeca Green in Battery Park City, MiMA and Silver Towers on West 42nd Street, all the way to The Legacy on the Upper East Side.

The fabric of NYC boasts diverse cultures and people, and many Manhattan luxury rental buildings are beginning to take advantage of that fact. Aside from the financial gains developers, and residents enjoy, there is also the idea of perhaps meeting and getting to know people with whom you might never otherwise come into contact. And with rent stabilization, along with a rigorous screening process for prospective tenants, this relatively new trend may continue to take root.