Below is information to help you plan your move to or within New York City. Whether you are relocating from across the country or just across town, you will benefit greatly if you have a budget and housing plan in place well before service begins.
City Year highly encourages members to secure housing and move prior to the first day of service to allow you to focus on building relationships with your teammates, immerse yourself in training, and adjust to your new neighborhood before the school year begins.
Many leases begin on July 1 or August 1, which is a great time to move and get settled. The service year runs from early August 2017 to mid-June 2018, so you will want to consider the timing of the end of your lease as well.
Typically, landlords list available apartments one month before the lease begins. This can be stressful and fast-paced, so it is important to be prepared with your questions and have the necessary information to apply for a lease, before you contact a broker or follow up on a listing.
Finding housing within their budget and reducing daily travel time are the considerations which have been top of mind for City Year AmeriCorps members. We highly recommend that before you begin your housing search, you review Living on a Budget and create a budget which reflects your financial situation and priorities.
Some members choose to live with family in the NYC area. If this is an option for you, it may allow you to save money on relocating to the area and your monthly living expenses. Depending on where family are located, in NYC or in a surrounding town, your daily travel may be longer than members who live in neighborhoods closer to their schools.
You can see where we served in the 2016-2017 school year in the map below:
If you are hoping to live with another City Year member, the confirmed member Facebook group is the best way to find a roommate. Craigslist is another common source to find roommates in New York City, or apartments with open rooms who are seeking new roommates to join them.
City Year fraternization rules prohibit first-year and senior corps members from living together unless they had a personal relationship prior to joining.
When you identify roommate(s) and begin your housing search, also discuss how you will share expenses (rent, utilities, internet, food) and what common items (furniture, television, kitchen items, etc.) you are each willing to contribute.
Members find housing through online posting sites, word of mouth, and sometimes on the City Year Facebook group (current members advertising their apartments). Postings should outline who to contact to learn more about the property, costs, and lease terms.
When renting an apartment, ask about the following fees as they frequently apply.
- Broker’s Fee - typically one month’s rent or a percentage or the annual lease
- Security Deposit - typically one month’s rent, returned at the end of the lease if the property’s condition is maintained
- First Month’s Rent - typically due upon signing of the lease agreement
- Last Month’s Rent - may be requested upon signing of the lease agreement
Some utilities are included in the price of rent, so be sure to ask your landlord. When viewing apartments, most landlords or current tenants will gladly tell you the average price of utilities, so don’t be afraid to ask. It is also helpful to ask what utilities the house uses, such as gas or electric heat. Some units and buildings include laundry, for free or a cost, while others are located near laundromats.