Applicant FAQs

Applicant FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Browse questions that are constantly being asked by users. Our staff stands ready to serve and answer questions that do not appear on this list.

Tell me more about Affordable Housing

Renting an apartment in New York City for a decent rent price isn’t affordable in these days, which is the reason why the City’s Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) offers property tax incentive programs to lower the property tax for developers and owners of new building who allocate a part of their building to be rented for low or mid-income New Yorkers applying through NYC HPD’S Affordable Lottery named “Affordable New York”.

What is HousingConnect? (HPD Website)

HousingConnect is the New York City HPD’s online platform where they list all the housing opportunities for low – middle or moderate-income households. Its your portal to search and apply for affordable housing opportunities in New York City. The HousingConnect apartments are affordable to some households who earn 100-130% of AMI. And some to households who earn 60-80% of AMI.

What is AMI?

AMI is the Area Median Income which is set by HUD and incorporates the NYC metropolitan area. This is the metric used by the City of New York for all affordable housing programs.

Who should apply?

Everyone who is within the income brackets! If your household income and size are within the range on the chart in the ad provided by Housing Connect immediate of the project you could qualify. If your income is above the maximum or below the minimum allowed by the program protocols please visit NYC Housing Connect Website to see which other housing opportunities could apply to you.

What is a household?

A “household” is generated by all people who will be living with you in the apartment. To be a part of a “household” the applicants have to show proof that they are financially interdependent, as indicated by current leases or utility records demonstrating a shared address, or documentation, such as bank accounts, demonstrating shared assets.

What are the benefits of NYC Housing Lottery?

Saving on rent! Affordable apartments under the HPD Lottery have reduced rents that can save you between $6,000 – $12,000 on rent every year. In addition to the savings, your apartment will also be rent stabilized, which means that your rent can only increase by fixed amount determined each year by the Rent Guidelines Board.

Can I see the apartment in person?

Yes! If you are being called as a winner on an apartment you will be given the opportunity to view the unit.

Will I have access to all building amenities?

Absolutely! You will have access to All amenities provided by ownership to the free and affordable market units in his/her building, unless an entrance fee is being charged to use the amenities for all renters in the building including free and affordable market units.

Are the apartments different from the market rate apartments?

They are the same! The apartments available through the lottery are exactly the same as the market rate apartments. They come with the same finishes and amenities as the market rate apartments, including but not guaranteed to have, hardwood floors, energy efficient stainless steel appliances, in-home washer/dryer, individual climate control and more.  For more on the apartment features, see each specific ad.

Is the apartment worth the application process?

Definitely!  If you qualify, you have the chance to save thousands of dollars a year on an apartment in a new, amenity-rich luxury building. There is no guarantee you will be called but there is also no risk in applying.  There are no application fees, so there is nothing to lose!

Can I move in the first of the next month?

Applying and qualifying for affordable housing can be a long process, and you are not guaranteed to receive housing. Your household must not only qualify with detailed criteria on a property-by-property basis, but you must also be selected at random in that property’s lottery. Preferences noted in the advertisement will be given first consideration.

What are my odds of winning?

It’s impossible to say the odds of winning until the lottery is concluded because we don’t know how many applicants will enter. On an average lottery, 30 thousand applicants apply. As the saying goes “you gotta be in it, to win it!!”

How do I apply?

You can apply in one of two ways.

  1. Go to NYC HousingConnect and submit your application electronically. You will have to create a profile first.
  2. Request a paper application by mail. Send a self-addressed envelope to:. **Important: DO NOT SUBMIT MORE THAN ONE APPLICATION. This will disqualify you.
My partner and I make six figures. Can we really qualify for one of these apartments?

Yes. This is a new program offered through Mayor Bill De Blasio through NYC Housing Preservation and Development. Moderate Income families have also been priced out of the market, so this new program was developed to target moderate-income households. As long as your combined income is within the income range and matching household size stated in the Affordability chart then you have the possibility to qualify. The rule is for housing to be affordable, households should spend no more than one-third of their income on rent and utilities.

How soon can I move in?

Once you have been contacted, provide the requested documents, appear to be eligible and HPD approves your file, you can move in. The apartments are ready!

What happens if I make more money after I move in? Will my rent go up or will I have to leave my apartment?

You can stay in your apartment as long as you wish! provided you abide by the terms of your lease. There are no annual income re-certifications, so you only need to qualify for the apartment once. In addition your rent will not be increased based on your income, only based on what the NYC Rent Guidelines Board determines each year. 

How do I calculate my income?

Check out this handy guide that breaks down exactly how to calculate your income.

Which documents will I need to provide if I’m selected?

Click here for a complete list of documents.  You will only need documents that are applicable to your household.