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HDFC unit at 646 Ninth Avenue HDFC unit at 646 Ninth Avenue
Before the pandemic, New York City set the record for the country's most expensive home sale, and a $14 million penthouse was considered a steal. More recently, it has become clear that New York’s housing construction has utterly failed to keep pace with the city’s population growth. This has led to rising prices and fears that there is no place for low- and middle-income buyers in New York.
These buyers should not skulk to the suburbs in despair, but look to Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) units. These apartments also offer jaw-dropping prices, but from the other extreme. The program dates back to the late 1970s, when the city created a program that allowed low-income residents to buy their units for as little as $250. More recently, community development non-profit LISE NYC closed on three West Harlem buildings that it plans to renovate, convert to HDFC co-ops, and sell to existing tenants for $2,500. (Vacant units will be available through the city's affordable lottery system.)
It should be noted that to keep HDFC listings affordable, strict income caps are in place that buyers should be prepared to abide by. Moreover, in spite of the low sticker prices, buyers should be prepared to make a hefty down payment. As a result, a Bloomberg article observes that a number of HDFC units are being sold to young people whose incomes fall within the parameters but who have wealthy parents to help with the down payments, which couldn't be farther from what the program intended.

What is an HDFC Co-op?

HDFC units were created several decades ago as a way for tenants in poorly managed buildings to take control of the property and form cooperatives. The city sold these apartments to residents for a mere $250 a piece. Obviously they no longer trade for that price, but they do often sell for far less than what a comparable market rate unit in the same neighborhood would.

Learn More About HDFC Co-ops Here

Peaceful prewar living in Harlem

530-Manhattan-Avenue-01 530 Manhattan Avenue, #47 (Brown Harris Stevens)
From the Listing: Quiet and well-proportioned prewar one-bedroom features 9' ceilings, solid oak floors, newly renovated bath, and simple kitchen. Separation and windows in every room. Pets are welcome, and amenities include newly renovated laundry room, gym/exercise room, bike room, and private storage. See floor plan and full details here.

High-floor Harlem apartment

133-West-140th-Street-01 133 West 140th Street, #75 (Sotheby's International Realty)
From the Listing: Make Harlem your home with this 2-bedroom coop on the 7th floor of an elevator building. The building is situated in a prime location to transportation, shops, restaurants and parks. Enjoy high ceilings, hardwood floors and tons of light! The living room boasts over-sized windows with southern exposure and the dining area has a bay of windows with eastern exposure and a pass-through kitchen. There is also a window in both the kitchen and bathroom plus tons of cabinet space and each bedroom has a large closet. This unit is move in ready! See floor plan and full details here.

Beautifully updated Hell's Kitchen home

498-West-55th-Street-01 Site Five Cooperative, #4E (Keller Williams)
From the Listing: This one-bedroom unit has been recently renovated and features stone tile floors throughout. The spacious living / dining area gets fantastic light and the fully equipped kitchen has an abundance of counter and cabinet space. The quiet rear-facing bedroom looks out over the co-op's shared garden, and the windowed bathroom is roomy and well appointed. The building is just minutes from Hell's Kitchen nightlife, Central Park, the Theater District, Whole Foods, and a wealth of great restaurants and cafes. See floor plan and full details here.

The best of both worlds in Morningside Heights

3115-Broadway-01 3115 Broadway, #63 (Red Star New York LLC)
From the Listing: Bright and charming one bedroom apartment combines prewar charm with modern conveniences at a low price! Features include high ceilings, abundant natural light, hardwood floors, built-in bookshelves, open layout, kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, and large closets. The apartment is in a well-managed walk-up building with solid financials, low maintenance fees, a live-in super, laundry room, bike storage and a unique, planted outdoor patio. See floor plan and full details here.

Beautifully updated Hamilton Heights co-op

505-West-143rd-Street-01 505 West 143rd Street, #42 (Corcoran)
From the Listing: Why rent when you can own? This bright and sunny home features a newly renovated kitchen, and updated bathroom. Private and quiet with tons of light. Building has elevator, laundry and live-in super. Close to A/C/B/D and 1 trains-Close to Riverbank State Park, City College, 142nd St Dog Run, St Nicholas Park. Close to great dining establishments such as ROKC, Fumo, Harlem Public, Handpulled Noodles. See floor plan and full details here.

Loft-like Lower East Side living with recent renovations

175-Rivington-Street-01 175 Rivington Street, #2E (Corcoran)
From the Listing: Working from this loft-like Lower East Side home will be a delight with two over-sized south facing windows offering views and light all day long. The recently renovated kitchen offers white lacquer cabinetry, a Viking range and quartzite countertops. Other features include new bamboo flooring throughout, white washed exposed brick, and windowed bathroom. See floor plan and full details here.

Clever layout and creative storage in the East Village

283-East-4th-Street-01 283 East 4th Street, #4B (Compass)
From the Listing: Enter into this lovely renovated home to find custom storage solutions at every turn. The windowed kitchen features a farmhouse sink, marble countertop, mosaic backsplash and hidden cabinets that will amaze you.Custom storage options continue in the living room with a sizeable hidden storage compartment behind the sofa and an abundance of drawers surrounding a welcoming bench. The bedroom features a built-in queen size bed with 4 large drawers, a custom closet including overhead cubbies for decorative baskets or larger luggage. See floor plan and full details here.

Big and bright apartment in the middle of Midtown

453-West-54th-Street-01 453 West 54th Street, #4B (Keller Williams)
From the Listing: This newly renovated home is incredibly bright. The large west facing windows let the sun shine right into the well sized living room, which is able to fit a full sized couch and entertainment center. The ceilings are over 9 feet tall, making the space feel open and allowing for additional vertical storage options. Having recently been redone, the beautiful wooden floors stretch throughout the entire apartment. The modern windowed kitchen has a large amount of storage, as well as all new appliances which include a full-sized refrigerator and dishwasher. See floor plan and full details here.

Top-floor corner co-op in Upper Manhattan

3681-Broadway-01 3681 Broadway, #62 (Real New York)
From the Listing: This top floor, oversized, corner apartment, with a gut renovated kitchen, is in a well-maintained, elevator and laundry building, with an on-site super. Attention to detail, commonly lost in modern construction, is still prevalent here. Sun-drenched rooms throughout round out this quiet apartment. See floor plan and full details here.

Renovated Harlem home with private outdoor space

130-Lenox-Avenue-01 The Renaissance, #235 (Compass)
From the Listing: Just in time for the summer, a reinvented one-bedroom with private outdoor space. This beautiful apartment was completely renovated from top to bottom, That's includes ceiling lights on all rooms and new floors. The kitchen was completely re-design to modern standards that include stainless steel appliances, a white quartz countertop, a gas stove, and don't forget the oversize sink. there is plenty of closet space throughout the apartment and not to forget this unit comes with a washer and dryer hookup, in the event that you want to add yours. The bathroom also receives the modern treatment from the beautifully designed floor tile to the subway tile on the wall, truly a must-see for yourself. See floor plan and full details here.

Light-filled Lower East Side penthouse

167-Allen-Street-01 167 Allen Street, #5A (Douglas Elliman)
From the Listing: Stunning light and views with four large windows: two per room from this well laid out penthouse one bedroom apartment. With eastern exposure, the morning light is exquisite and being on the top floor, you get light all day long. This is the brightest unit in the building and worth the walk up. This financially solid, well maintained, quiet, smoke-free, walk up building offers a common courtyard, laundry, bike rack, and FIOS. See floor plan and full details here.

Sunny, flexible Hamilton Heights apartment

611-West-136th-Street-01 611 West 136th Street, #31 (Corcoran)
From the Listing: Sunny and cheerful, this home has just undergone a complete gut renovation - everything including the floors, doors, walls, kitchen, and bathroom are all brand new! With a total of 9 windows mostly facing south and north, there is fantastic light all day long and beautiful views of the tree-lined street outside of the living room and den. There is a window in every room, including the kitchen and bathroom, further enhancing the airy and bright feel. See floor plan and full details here.

Charming apartment in historic Weeksville

112-Schenectady-Avenue-01 The Maynard, #212 (Compass)
From the Listing: This two-bedroom apartment features a newly renovated kitchen and bathroom! The galley kitchen is simply perfect with it's blue ridge pine dark-wood floors, custom brick backsplash and a open pass through bar area perfect for entertainment guest which can also couple as a quaint breakfast area with bar stools. This two bedroom apartment has ample closet space but in addition, private caged storage space is included. Fully sized washer and dryer with French Doors is also an added benefit. See floor plan and full details here.

Sunny classic co-op in Washington Heights

550-Washington-Avenue-01 550 Washington Avenue, #5D (Brown Harris Stevens)
From the Listing: Welcome to unit 5D! This sun-drenched top-level 2-bedroom, 1-bath apartment offers a great and welcoming layout. The bedrooms are spacious enough to comfortably fit a king-sized bed and extra furniture. A true sized apartment with renovated kitchen and stainless-steel appliances. This prewar walkup (4 flights) apartment has beautiful hardwood floors throughout as well as high ceilings and a generous living room with enough room to fit a dining table. See floor plan and full details here.

Bright bay windows in Harlem

353-West-117th-Street-01 The Midlothian, #2B (Compass)
From the Listing: Apartment 2B is an affordable and spacious three-bedroom apartment in a great location. The apartment has a light-filled south facing living room with a decorative fireplace. There are high ceilings and hardwood floors throughout. Enjoy a large kitchen with lots of storage space. The primary bedroom features beautiful bay windows as well. See floor plan and full details here.

Sun-drenched Harlem apartment

226-West-111th-Street-01 226 West 111th Street, #9 (Douglas Elliman)
From the Listing: Well-proportioned two-bedroom has been fully renovated and features hardwood floors, high ceilings, modern sleek tiled bathroom, and three large closets. The kitchen is outfitted with recessed light, quartz countertops, and stainless steel appliances. Large oversize windows with east, south, and north exposure fill the apartment with natural sunlight. Washer / dryer and dishwasher allowed in the unit. See floor plan and full details here.

Bright home in amenity-rich building

1919-Madison-Avenue-01 1919 Madison Avenue, #610 (Sotheby's International Realty)
From the Listing: Sunny split two-bed features a terrace overlooking trees and plants in the building's courtyard and garden area. The comfortably sized living room has excellent space for large furniture pieces and has a distinct dining area. Both bedrooms are very big and will easily accommodate a king-size bed, night stands and additional furniture. The bedrooms will require either new carpeting or hardwood floors. The separate galley kitchen is large enough for a cook and two sous chefs. See floor plan and full details here.

Loft-like layout and exposed brick in Hell's Kitchen

430-West-46th-Street-01 430 West 46th Street, #3E (Compass)
From the Listing: Create your dream home in prime Hell's Kitchen! Located on the third floor of a pre-war, walk-up building, this floor-through home has northern and southern exposures, exposed brick walls, hardwood floors and a full-size stacked washer/dryer. Currently loft-like and livable, but could be designed into a 1 bedroom, plus den (or interior 2nd bedroom). There are two separate entrances to allow for a variety of options. Pet friendly with super-low maintenance. See floor plan and full details here.

Peaceful Upper West Side apartment

111-West-106th-Street-01 111 West 106th Street, #2R (Level Group Inc.)
From the Listing: One flight up from the first floor, on the second floor of this apartment building, is a bright and quiet two-bedroom apartment featuring an open living space that is graciously large and airy. As you step into the entry foyer of this apartment, to the left is the open concept living space. The space includes an eat-in retro kitchen and a living room with high ceilings, a decorative mantle/fireplace and brand new tall windows facing north. The kitchen has lots of cabinetry for storage. The full-size windowed bathroom includes space for a sizable linen closet and additional overhead storage. See floor plan and full details here.

Flexible corner apartment in classic Hamilton Heights building

100-Hamilton-Place-01 The Kaaterskill-North, #102 (Compass)
From the Listing: Enter this rambling corner home and be transported to a simpler, more elegant moment in time. A real sanctuary amid the city bustle, this home offers a sweet front porch with private entrance and 14 windows, 9 of which face onto a sleepy tree-lined street. Within, the possibilities are endless for today's need for separation and privacy within one's home. The current configuration offers a stunning corner living room with an adjacent intimate formal dining room. See floor plan and full details here.

Newly renovated Upper West Side home

111-West-106th-Street-02 111 West 106th Street, #5R (Hauseit LLC)
From the Listing: Newly renovated, sun-drenched 2-bedroom apartment faces the back of the building and enjoys abundant light and big sky views from its northeastern exposure. The apartment has a charming foyer with a large double closet with built in shoe-storage and shelving. The completely updated bathroom features floor-to-ceiling white glass Thassos tile, and black hex floor tiles. The kitchen is adorned with white quartz countertops and kitchen island, a Bertazzoni gas range, Bosch stainless steel refrigerator and dishwasher, Grohe faucet and Semi-Handmade two-tone cabinets with floating shelves. See floor plan and full details here.

Top-floor home in Hell's Kitchen

451-West-48th-Street-01 451 West 48th Street, #5E (Redfin Real Estate)
From the Listing: Welcome to this charming 2-bedroom home with beautiful natural light! As you're on the top floor, you get city views from one side of the home, and treetop views from the other. There are both south and north exposures. The kitchen and bathroom have been beautifully renovated. There is also a washer/dryer in the unit. The layout is spacious, with two large rooms and a generous size living room. There are several deep closets in the home, and plenty of historic charm like hardwood floors and decorative fireplace details. See floor plan and full details here.

Central location and garden views

326-West-43rd-Street-01 326 West 43rd Street, #1RE (Brown Harris Stevens)
From the Listing: Located in a tranquil boutique pre-war cooperative with entrance off the first floor, the apartment features hardwood flooring, 10-foot ceilings and abundant closet space. It is bright and pin drop quiet. The generous living room is airy and open allowing for a comfortable dining area. Both the primary bedroom and the living room face South and onto a common garden with a lovely green backdrop of grapevine and trellis. Second bedroom is very spacious and can serve as a comfortable guest room or home office. See floor plan and full details here.

Old World charm in Upper Manhattan

35-Mount-Morris-Park-West-01 The Montana, #2E (Compass)
Harlem co-ops
Harlem apartments
From the Listing: This classic home at Mount Morris Park boasts over 10-foot ceilings, two bedrooms, one bathroom, a living/dining area, an eat-in kitchen, and an office nook. A 25-foot hallway connects the primary bedroom with double exposure and living/dining room. On the right side of the hallway, there's an office nook to greatly influence your mood and workability. The eat-in kitchen features a walk-in pantry and full-size stainless-steel appliances including built-in stoves and a sink with plenty of counter space around it. See floor plan and full details here.

Classic six in Upper Manhattan

501-West-138th-Street-01 501 West 138th Street, #52 (Compass)
From the Listing: Feel the charm and allure of this pre-war, bright, south-east facing, fully renovated corner unit. Enjoy views of parks and the city skyline from every room. Guided by the restored original hardwood floors you can navigate this apartment through a distribution hall that will take you from the entrance to the other end of the apartment that features high ceilings throughout. Equipped with a decorative fireplace, the grand living room area can easily be converted into a third bedroom and flows seamlessly into a dedicated dining room area. See floor plan and full details here.

Gut-renovated home off Central Park

7-Wes-t92nd-Street-01 The Raleigh, #5G (Bond New York Properties LLC)
From the Listing: Welcome to Apt. #5G, the jewel in the crown of The Raleigh Building. The five airy windows facing southwest, expose the apartment to tons of direct sunlight. The renovations have been carried out by the mastery of Italian designers offering a complete turnkey solution ready to live in from day one. Hardwood floors, upgraded electrical and new plumbing systems. The hardwood floors and ceilings are completely soundproof using organic cork panels to maximize comfort and quiet. Tons of storage spaces custom built-in by skillful carpenters. The original waistcoat from 1902 which surrounds the oversized bow-windowed living room has been brought back to life through an extensive restoration and blending it into the new apartment design. See floor plan and full details here.

Spacious East Harlem apartment

1831-Madison-Avenue-01 Madison Park, #6M (KWNYC Midtown)
From the Listing: Located at Madison Park Apartments, residence 6M is a spacious three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. As you enter the home, an open living room greets you with ample space for separate seating and dining areas. The kitchen features a dishwasher, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, as well as plenty of counter space and cabinetry. The primary bedroom is bright and spacious, and can accommodate a king or queen sized bed. It has a walk-in closet and a full en-suite bathroom with a stand up shower. See floor plan and full details here.

Massive Hell's Kitchen duplex

646-Ninth-Avenue-01 646 Ninth Avenue, #2FS/3FS (Corcoran)
From the Listing: Offering 9-foot loft-like tin ceilings and a flexible floorplan, this apartment is a perfect blank canvas to create the apartment of your dreams. Lovingly cared for by the same owner for over 30 years, apartment 2FS/3FS is a rare creative space full of opportunity. Each floor has an impressive expanse measuring 37' long with a full bathroom positioned in the rear, two-oversized windows face west on each level streaming an abundance of natural light. Other notable features include original wooden shutters, window bench, refinished floors and exposed brick walls throughout. See floor plan and full details here.

Mesmerizing views in Morningside Heights

351-West-114th-Street-01 The Monterey, #6C (Brown Harris Stevens)
From the Listing: As you enter this sprawling 3-bedroom pre-war apartment, the expansive open living room/kitchen layout is sun-drenched with four huge windows and mesmerizing views of Morningside Park and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. It's simply stunning. Adorned with 9'5" ceilings and triple exposure, west, south and east, the apartment is full of light all day. A corner bedroom has several windows that face south and east with open city views, the second and third bedrooms are south-facing over the wide Manhattan Avenue bringing in tons of sun. See floor plan and full details here.

Classic prewar apartment on the Upper West Side

238-West-105th-Street-01 238 West 105th Street, #1E (Douglas Elliman)
From the Listing: This raised first-floor apartment begins by showcasing a long foyer with 10'2' high-beamed ceilings, hardwood floors, decorative moldings, brass hardware and antique light fixtures, offering a glimpse into some of the sought after pre-war details found throughout. The layout is traditional-a well-proportioned formal living and dining room lead to a windowed kitchen that was designed to suit modern tastes while still balancing old world charm. Smeg appliances, quartz countertops, new cabinets, subway tile and an antique stove all blend together effortlessly. An original dumbwaiter door now conceals a more important luxury: a vented washer/dryer! A similar approach was taken to update the two full bathrooms which include original and vintage finishes. See floor plan and full details here.

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