Hunting for cheap rent in New York is basically impossible. Most New Yorkers have accepted the fact that they are always going to have to live with a roommate (or two, maybe three) in order to afford to pay their rent. And they still have to pay anywhere from $900 to $2,000 when they have a roommate.
Well, maybe everyone looking for a place has been hunting in the wrong area. Apparently, one woman had the cheapest rent in New York for decades.
Actress Patricia O'Grady moved into an apartment in a Greenwich village walk up in 1955 and her rent (between herself and a few roommates) was $16/month. The four women managed to snag such cheap rent by sweeping the hallway. What a deal!
The women added a sink to the apartment and other amenities over time. While her roommates eventually moved out, Patricia stayed until her death in March 2018. When she passed away, her rent had only increased to $28.43.
The apartment might have had insanely cheap rent, but it was a cold water flat and might have been the last of its kind in New York. This meant the apartment did not have heat or hot water. Patricia got along fine without heat, it seems, as the unit had two working fireplaces.
When Adam Pomerantz bought the building, he tried to get Patricia to let him upgrade the apartment and include heat. But she fought him on every fix he wanted to make, even ones that were necessary, like putting floorboards over gaping holes in the apartment.
Sticking it out until the end was tough for Patricia, as previous landlords tried to force her out. Her sister, who was also her roommate in the '60s, spoke with the New York Post and said:
"A fire was set at some point. Everybody else left except her."
However, she never left. In March 2018, she was fatally struck by a car close to her home.
H/T: New York Post