Daniel Arnow, Director of Affordable Housing Initiatives at The Actors Fund (and formerly of QCA), delivered a comprehensive seminar on affordable housing in NYC at QCA on April 13, 2018. The seminar covered processes of applying for affordable housing and gave artists in-depth insight into how the systems work and how they can make their applications most competitive. We sat down with Daniel and asked him a few questions about his mission to educate artists on affordable housing.
What's one thing that you would recommend to people in their search for affordable housing?
Besides visiting our online Housing Resource Center and attending one of our “Applying for Affordable Housing Seminars”? Since all affordable housing programs are based on annual household income, I would recommend reading this income guide to better understand how to calculate your own income. This will help you to better understand what affordable housing opportunities you might be eligible for.
What impact do you hope that your seminar will have on artists' lives?
We hope that this seminar will help people to navigate the affordable housing landscape. More specifically, the seminar will help people to get organized and prepare to apply for affordable housing lotteries through NYC Housing Connect. While affordable housing can be more of a long-term solution because the process is so competitive, our broader goal is to increase access to affordable housing opportunities for our constituents.
What is one of the most consistent things that you hear from artists across the city when you do these seminars?
Because artist’s income is often fluctuating, episodic and from many different sources, the most consistent thing I hear is how challenging it is for artists to accurately calculate their annual household income. The system is definitely designed for folks with a single employer so this presents a challenge for many artists. To learn more about affordable housing for artists in NYC and what the challenges are, check out this article in Multiple Cities.
What would you tell other artists about QCA?
QCA is a true pillar in the arts and culture community in Queens and city-wide. There are so many valuable resources available at QCA that range from funding to professional development opportunities. QCA is also an important community space for us to gather and share information. It was privilege to partner with the QCA team and to bring this affordable housing workshop to new communities. As a side note, I had the pleasure of working at QCA a few years ago to coordinate the SU-CASA (previously named SPARC) program in Queens.
I wanted to give a BIG shout out to Lynn Lobell, former Grants & Resource Director at QCA, who recently retired to embark on new adventures. Her contributions to QCA and the broader arts and culture community in NYC have been invaluable – thank you, Lynn!