Rent Controlled SoHo Apartment Costs Less than Groceries

Rent Controlled SoHo Apartment Costs Less than Groceries
5 Spring Street - Thomas Lombardi

The term “rent stabilization” is slowly disappearing from the NYC vernacular, but there are a few gems still existing in the city whose rents are beyond stable—they are a steal.

One such gem belongs to Thomas Lombardi, who pays $55.01 per month for his one-bedroom SoHo apartment at 5 Spring Street.  He has lived there ever since his family emigrated from Italy in the 1940’s.

Even Frank Ricci, director of government affairs at the Rent Stabilization Association said such low rents are extremely rare.

“That’s the lowest rent I’ve ever heard of,” he told the Post.

Lombardi, who is currently in his 70’s, lives in the apartment with his “much younger wife,” who is expected to inherit the apartment after he passes away.  And this is a unit that would get at least $2,500 a month on the open market, according to a real estate appraiser.

The apartment neighboring Lombardi’s belongs to Tom Combs, a retired military meteorologist and published poet.  He didn’t fare as well as Lombardi, but Combs still pays $71 per month.

Combs, now 87, lives off of a $1,100 pension per month in addition to extra money he makes from nude modeling.  With the legalization of gay marriage in NY, he is considering marrying his former 41-year-old lover from Nepal who is seeking political asylum in the United States.

According to the state Department of Homes and Community renewal, the landlord cannot increase neither Combs nor Lombardi’s rents while they or their relatives own it.  Since the landlord at the building never filed paperwork to increase rents, the prices will remain at these all time lows.


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