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Buy a Chelsea Apartment for Just $64K by Hitting Penn South Lottery

By Mathew Katz | July 23, 2014 11:48am | Updated on July 25, 2014 4:22pm
 Penn South provides affordable housing to tenants in its 2,820 units.
Penn South provides affordable housing to tenants in its 2,820 units.
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CHELSEA — Affordable housing co-op Penn South is opening up its waiting lists, giving a few hundred lucky lottery winners the chance to buy a steeply discounted apartment in Chelsea.

For the first time in years, the 2,820-unit, 15-building complex will let people who meet specific income requirements enter a lottery for the chance to join a waiting list for the coveted apartments.

Studios start at $64,000 at Penn South — which spans from West 23rd Street to West 29th Street, from Eighth Avenue to Ninth Avenue — while one-bedrooms go for $85,100 to $97,300 and two-bedrooms cost $109,500 to $133,800.

After buying the below-market-rate apartment, residents of the co-op only have to pay monthly carrying charges, which range from $459 to $1,010 per month depending on apartment size. You can't make a profit from selling the apartment, but you get back the money you originally paid to buy it.

Studios are open to people making up to $82,100, one-bedrooms are open to people making up to $109,500 and two-bedrooms are open to people making up to $150,500. Those who make 50 percent above the income limit are eligible to apply as well, but they will have to pay an additional monthly carrying fee.

While thousands of applicants will likely enter the lottery, only 300 people will be picked for the studio apartment waiting list, 600 will be picked for the one-bedroom list and 300 will be picked for the two-bedroom list. Two-bedrooms are only open to families of at least three people, or a single parent and a child.

Those who are chosen will have to pay a $200 application fee, and then they may have to wait years for their name to be called from the waiting list.

This is the first time Penn South has allowed people making more than the income limits to apply for apartments.

Penn South recently had to increase its carrying charges for current residents after having to spend an extra $40 million on a yearslong project to replace the complex's HVAC systems.

Interested deal hunters can enter the lottery by mailing a postcard to the co-op by Aug. 8. Full entry instructions are available on Penn South's website