Post-it Notes for Neighbors

Housing costs revealed

It’s a question many residents wonder: how much are my neighbors paying for their apartments? Chang created Post-it Notes for Neighbors to helps demystify the topic by inviting people to anonymously share information about their housing costs. After a week, the installation became a useful collection of housing information created by and relevant to her community. The results are tallied below. Inspired by Illegal Art’s To Do project and part of the Windows Brooklyn exhibition.

2008, Brooklyn, NY. Post-it notes, storefront window. 54″ x 54″. Installation assistance by Kay Cheng. 







More images on Flickr


Post-it Notes Public Art by Candy Chang, I’ve Lived, Windows Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens results

All Post-it notes on final day.

Post-it Notes Public Art by Candy Chang, I’ve Lived, Windows Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens results

Post-it notes whittled down to ones with responses after one week (half of total).


Nearly half of responses came from people living in their apartment for two years or less, a potential reflection of New York’s fluid community. The winner of Cheapest Apartment goes to someone living in a studio in Carroll Gardens for 43 years that costs $146/month, and the Most Expensive goes to someone in a 4-br in Cobble Hill for 4 years that costs $3,720/month.

3 br in Red Hook for 13 yrs – $200
1-br in Brooklyn Heights for 1 yr – $3315
1-br in Jersey City for 3 yrs – $1000 (“w/ a backyard bitches!”)
3-br loft in Chelsea for 30 yrs – $1095
1-br in Cobble Hill for 11 yrs – $893.45
1-br in Carroll Gardens for 21 yrs – $350
2-br in Clinton Hill for 14 yrs – $700
2-br in Williamsburg for 10 yrs – $800
2-br in Carroll Gardens for 55 yrs – $350
2-br in Bethlehem, PA (the only non-NYC-area response) for 1 wk – $730

52 responses came from people living in 1-br apartments in Carroll Gardens. Below are the range of costs depending on the number of years people have lived in their apartment:


Chang printed “cost(s)” on the notes to invite input from both renters and owners, but the responses were mostly from renters. Now she sees that she still botched the wording – most Brooklynites buy complete brownstones/houses rather than apartments. The only owners who responded were people who she met while tending to the project. One man has lived in a two-apartment house in Carroll Gardens for 30 years and it cost him only $125,000 (it’s worth $3 million now). A woman named Deborah bought three homes in Bed Stuy from 1988-2003 and never paid more than $250,000. They put her two sons through college and will allow her to retire early. “Like they say,” she said, “they’re not making any more of it. Get yourself some real estate!

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