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Thousands Vie For Affordable Housing Units In Trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Williamsburg, Brooklyn, is known as one of the trendiest and most expensive neighborhoods in the city. But now, a new building is offering staggeringly low prices to rent and tens of thousands of people are vying to get in on it.

As CBS2's Scott Rapoport reported, despite the cranes and scaffolding of the largely building's unfinished state, more than 70,000 people applied for the privilege of living in one of 38 units still under construction at 59 Frost Street—and there's a reason for that.

"The reason is affordable housing. People need affordable places to live," Martin Dunn said, president of Dunn Development Corp.

Dunn says all the apartments are part of an affordable housing program with aid from the state and city's Department of Housing and Preservation.

Studio apartments will start at $640 a month, one-bedrooms as low as $689 and two-bedroom apartments at $835.

By contrast, according to a recent study from real estate group MNS, the average prices of a studio in Brooklyn is $2,174, $2,561 for an average one-bedroom and $3,296 for an average two-bedroom, Rapoport reported.

"The need is tremendous for this type of housing," Dunn said. "We have hundreds of thousands of people that can't afford the rents that the market has set."

The tenants will be chosen through a lottery and picked at random. However, the application process closed last week.

So with approximately 70,000 applicants and only 38 units available, what are the odds of snagging an apartment on Frost Street? Roughly 1 in 1,842.

The lucky tenants will be notified in the beginning of March.

As CBS2 reported, there was an income requirement that tenants must earn 50-80 percent of the average income in the area to qualify.

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