When they hear about New York and housing in the same sentence, most commoners imagine a Manhattan skyline with a modern interior and a posh life. However, not many New Yorkers actually live like this. Many live in ordinary homes, with normal views and pretty standard lives. And then there are some that are in a whole other ball game.

Alternative housing is something that started out of sheer need and lack of a classic home. When people lost their homes during the Great Depression, this form of living came to be. Today, even though still present, it’s not only out of need that this type of housing continues to exist. Considering that so many different people live in the “Big Apple”, alternative housing New York takes many different shapes and forms today.

What’s out there

There are quite a few options when we’re talking about alternative housing. From wood, earth, straw houses to green roof, modular, tiny homes, the possibilities are endless. However, when it comes to alternative housing New York, most of these options are a no go. This is mostly because of the space constraints and a quite specific lifestyle that New York entails.


Considering that New York is the most populated city in USA, co-living is a very obvious choice for many. This is by far the most developed form of alternative housing in New York. Therefore, there are a lot of co-living options out there to choose from.

Two girls standing on a balcony hugging. Co-living is one of the best and most developed options when it comes to alternative housing New York.
Co-living is one of the best and most developed options when it comes to alternative housing New York.

Lots of co-living options

  • Ollie
    This form of co-living is the most popular among young adults and students moving to New York. The furnishing tends to be on the modern side while still maintaining a sense of practicality. It is self proclaimed as an “all-inclusive living platform”. The pricing is quite average and it doesn’t include utilities. Ollie justifies this decision by saying that this way people tend to be more aware of their spending habits and therefore save energy more then they otherwise would.
  • Common
    Common is Although similar to Ollie, there are some differences. The pricing is a bit higher but that is due to the fact that with Common all of the additional utilities are included in the price. This form of alternative housing New York offers you a chance to meet like minded people while still having the privacy of your own room. You also get the privilege of having a cleaning service which can be a huge time saver.
  • Quarters
    If you are used to or wish to try out a minimalist lifestyle, this is the option for you. It might be a little unconventional price-wise, but this is justified by some additional features. One of the special things about this form of alternative housing New York is that it offers partaking in different monthly events. Since it is commonly used by people between the age of 25 and 35 who are young professionals, Quarters allows you to make a lot of potentially valuable connections.

It’s not for everyone

First and foremost, we must state that this way of living is probably not for folks who love to have lots of personal space or for someone who’s moving with children. If you grew up in a traditional home it might also be hard for you to get used to a certain life style. However, since we’re talking about alternative housing New York here, this is not necessarily the case. New Yorkers are known for their untamed free spirit and open mindedness. If you personally wish to try and go for any of these options, you need to sit down and think about what it would really mean.

Don’t worry about safety

A good thing with New York alternative housing is that you don’t have to worry about your future roommates. Of course, there’s always the question of whether you’ll completely fit in or not. But this is always uncertain, even when you live with people you’ve known for years. However, when it comes to your personal safety and the safety of your belongings, the system is pretty bulletproof. All of the potential residents, including yourself, go through evaluation beforehand.

A doorknob with a well secured lock. Safety is guaranteed when it comes to co-living as an alternative housing New York option.
Safety is guaranteed when it comes to co-living as an alternative housing New York option.

Prepare well

After you’ve been vetted and accepted into one of New York’s alternative housing options, you’ll have to determine a move in date. There are a few things you need to do to prepare for this step because it’s somewhat different from your typical moving in. We recommend sitting down and making the ultimate moving strategy for you. You cannot delay some things as you would if you were moving in somewhere alone. There is a certain awareness you need to have towards the other residents.

A board with boxes to which a person is pointing while making plans for moving in to one of the New York's alternative housing options.
Making a plan is crucial when choosing one of New York’s alternative housing options.

Moving company

It’s smart to think about hiring a moving company to get the job done faster and smoother. It will save you a lot of time and energy. And if you choose the right one it doesn’t have to cost you much. Depending on where exactly you are in New York you need to find the one that suits you. If you are, for example, moving to Queens, you’ll need to find a Queens-based relocation crew, and so on.

If you are moving from somewhere further away, you’ll need to find companies that have that option as well. Here it might be better to think about splurging a little, especially if you have some valuables that need transporting. It’s easier to pay extra and save your prized possessions then to spend that money later on for replacing what you’ve lost. Companies like DA Moving NYC are great for this sort of thing

A sketch of buildings and vans representing a moving company.
It’s smart to hire a moving company when relocating to your alternative housing New York choice.

There’s good and bad sides to everything

It’s incredible how many benefits these alternative housing options in New York have. They are often located in the most inhabited parts of the city. You’ll be living a much more stress free and responsibility based life. All this because you don’t need to worry as much about utilities, paying bills, looking for a new roommate. Lease terms are a lot more adjustable then your usual rent living experience. There are, of course, some bad sides as well. Even though you’re sure to have more opportunities, it will cost you more then if you were renting a space of the same size. You’ll also be living with people you don’t know, which can be really weird for all the fellow introverts out there.

However, if you do decide to use co-living as your alternative housing New York option of choice, you won’t regret it. You are sure to come out of it richer for a number of experiences. You’ll also have friends all over the city with whom you’ll be able to reminisce on the good times.


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