Living in the Mix: Affordable Housing in New York's Luxury Buildings

(The New York Times) Brandon Deese lives just a few blocks from where he grew up, but it might as well be another world.  

Mr. Deese, 23, spent his childhood at the Chelsea-Elliott Houses, a public-housing project in the West 20’s. But last year, thanks to a housing lottery, he beat out thousands of others for an affordable apartment at the Chelsea Park, a luxury rental at 260 West 26th Street.

“I used to go downstairs and see crack heads and drug dealers, and now when I go downstairs I see doormen,” said Mr. Deese, who himself works as a night doorman on the Upper West Side. He pays $540 a month for a studio, a discount of about 83 percent from the market-rate rent, which is around $3,200 a month, according to listings on StreetEasy.