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New York City to build affordable housing for musicians and artists

on February 05, 2015, 12:30pm

“New York has closed itself off to the young and the struggling,” Patti Smith said in 2010. “But there are other cities. Detroit. Poughkeepsie. New York City has been taken away from you. So my advice is: Find a new city.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is now seeking to dissuade young musicians and artists from taking Smith’s advice with a new housing initiative. During his State of the City address on Tuesday, de Blasio announced plans to provide 1,500 units of affordable housing reserved exclusively for low-income creatives.

The plan is to develop 150 units a year over the next 10 years, alongside a separate 500 total units of work space. Exactly where these units will be located is still being worked out, though one of two city-owned pieces of land will be chosen by December for the first part of the project. Overhauls of existing structures may take place, but most of the project is expected to be brand new construction.

“We know that New York is the city it is today in part because of the contributions from generations of artistic visionaries who at one point struggled to make ends meet,” de Blasio said during his address.

Current income limits classify an individual as low-income if they make between $29,400 and $47,000 a year, with families of four qualifying between $41,951 and $67,120. Only artists and musicians falling within these annual salary ranges would qualify for the new units, meaning Taylor Swift will be forced to stay in her swanky Tribeca apartment.

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