How a WNYC Radio Producer Bought a 600 Square Foot Apartment in Brooklyn Heights For $38K

Tracie Hunte is an assistant producer at WNYC and now a proud owner of a 600 square foot apartment in Cadman Towers. She tells the story of how she got the apartment for $38K:

WNYC: Back in 2010, I landed on the wait list for an apartment in Cadman Towers, a Mitchell-Lama co-op in Brooklyn Heights that opened in 1971. About three years later, my name came up and I was able to buy a 600-square-foot one bedroom with a balcony for a little more than $38,000. It was probably the only way I – a single, 32-year-old, public radio employee – was ever going to achieve the American dream in New York City.

The Mitchell-Lama program was created in 1955 with the goal of providing housing options for middle income residents. In New York City, 174 rental and co-op buildings were created under the program. (You can find a list of open wait lists here.) After a certain number of years, building owners can leave the program and make their units market rate. So far, 96 have done just that. It’s an outcome that’s alarming to some housing advocates.

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  • cynzanne

    I thought Cadman Plaza went market rate.

  • Bklyn86

    Cadman Plaza did not go market rate–75 Henry did..Thanks for posting Tracie…We got into Cadman 2009 after about 8 years on the wait list, but we love our two bedroom apartment and the view from our balcony! Waiting list is closed right, btw, but if you check for affordable housing there are other opportunties

  • Jorale-man

    I’m curious how the common areas are at Cadman. Do they feel modern or kind of 70’s institutional? Of course, with nice views like that, even a drab hallway would be a very minor downside I’d think.

  • Bklyn86

    The hallways and lobbies were 70’s institutional 40 years ago–now they still 70’s institutional +shabby… but the laundry rooms have just been nicely redone..There are lovely gardens and indoor garage space (about $125 a month and a waiting list) and 24 hour security…Sadly, no gym…Remarkable staff, quick to fix things + very clean..

  • Roberto

    Tracie, Welcome to 140 Cadman Plaza West. Our coop has the potential to go beyond the tough, isolating renter’s struggle that so many face in a city in which the “rent is too damn high.” An affordable coop like 140 Cadman Plaza West empowers its cooperators to collaborate to charge the batteries of the entire neighborhood. Plunked down In the midst of luxury condos in a city that has deified privatization and plowed under many community institutions, people at 140 Cadman Plaza West are in a good position to act as engaged citizens to get involved and protect endangered libraries and hospitals in our neighborhood, to take two real examples.

  • ellymay878

    Staff is terrific!

  • grewuphere

    Seconded, I grew up in 140, my grandmother was one of the originals and my parents still live there! Love the building!

  • grewuphere

    They really aren’t particularly shabby (unless you count the 2nd floor, which I’m told may be getting redone soon), though I miss the old darker colors, the newer grew paint scheme is a little too hospital for my taste

  • grewuphere

    *grey (well, greyish)