What is the NYC Housing Lottery

The NYC housing lottery is a program that is meant to reduce the financial responsibilities that are associated with renting an apartment in New York City. It started as a collaboration between local real estate developers and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The government will offer them tax cuts while they reduce the prices for their housing options. The NYC housing lottery aims to make those housing options that are either for rent or sale affordable to residents that are of low and middle income. Depending on how much you earn, and the median income of your area, the housing options for the lottery will be different. The local housing program sets the annual income requirement for each property. This information is used to create a yearly household income band that will help to delimit who can apply for where depending on household size and income.

Requirements for the NYC Housing Lottery

The requirements to participate in the NYC housing lottery are quite short and straightforward. First of all, you have to register and create an account with the NYC housing connect. For that, you need a valid email address and standard contact information. Next is to input your household information, consisting of all the employment and income data for the members of your household. Finally, apply (one per property) by submitting the online form and track your application history. If selected or invited by mail, the last step is to show up for the interview where your documents will be confirmed.

This video explains what you can expect during the application process for the NYC housing lottery.

Where to look

Since it is not commonplace to find affordable apartments in New York City, there is the NYC housing connect which contains a plethora of affordable apartments. The site is regularly updated to provide new spaces or listings. Some NYC housing lottery apartments that are now open include a 25-unit Upper East Side housing project that was developed by Extell in 1766 Second Avenue which will be open till the 26th of April; a batch of over 100 affordable apartments in Beach Green Dunes II open for application till May 17. Some NYC housing lottery applications to that will be opened later in the year are 123 Hope Street, Brooklyn having 41 affordable apartments whose applications will begin on May 6th, and 223-unit apartments located at Story Avenue West which will start accepting applications by 13th May.   

Tips to get approved

Here is a list of some things you can do to increase your chances of being approved:

  • Apply for only those NYC housing lotteries that you are qualified for.
  • Only use accurate information, especially when filling the household information.
  • Apply for NYC housing lottery projects or buildings that are close to where you currently live.
  • Duplicate applications are not advisable. Send one form per property and give it your best shot.
  • There is a quota reserved for municipal employees, so if you are one or employed by a New York City agency, there are chances of been given preferential treatment.
  • Set up alerts and regularly check your emails regularly

For more information on how to apply for the NYC housing lottery, click here.

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