The Paul Lawrence Dunbar Apartments for negroes located in the Harlem section of New York City which is a John D. Rockefeller, Jr., experiment is a step forward in housing for negroes. The apartment building contains 511 apartments consisting of 2,400 rooms. In less than six months after the apartments were opened the entire number had been sold. Only the tenants can be stockholders, and each tenant is required to subscribe for an amount of stock equivalent to the cost of his apartment. A $5o-per-room down payment is required. The following paragraphs from "The Housing of Harlem,"1 by Alfred Alexander, describe the financing method:
Fig. 77. - Paul Lawrence Dunbar Apartments for Negroes, Harlem District, N.Y.- a John D. Rockefeller, Jr., project.
The method of financing this project is as follows: No attempt has been made to take advantage of tax exemption. The buildings were erected at an actual cost of land and building including architect's fees, insurance and taxes during construction, together with 5 per cent interest on the money which was advanced, of $3,330,000. No charge was included for financing other than 5 per cent interest nor was any charge made for the services of Mr. Rockefeller's staff in developing the whole project. These services are being continued without charge, including a large amount of bookkeeping and other statistical work.
1 Crisis, October-November, 1928.
.... The tenants pay an average of $14.50 per room per month, of which approximately 54 per cent is principal and interest on account of the cost of the apartment and 46 per cent is for upkeep, taxes, insurance and other charges. It is calculated that in a period of about 22 years the tenants will have paid for the entire project, including the land, and will then have in their possession not a bundle of rent receipts of no value, but an equity in the apartment that will average for each tenant over $6,600.