NYC rolls out revamped affordable housing lottery system

June 16, 2020

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash 

New York City’s highly competitive online affordable housing lottery system is getting a revamp to make applying for the income-restricted apartments easier. The city’s Housing Preservation and Development on Tuesday rolled out a new web portal that aims to be more user-friendly, allowing applicants to view available lotteries on their smartphones and upload required documents online.

The city’s NYC Housing Connect, which launched in 2013, is a centralized online portal that contains most of the available affordable housing units across the five boroughs. In the current system, applications are selected for review through a lottery process.

If your application is selected and you meet income requirements, you will be invited to an interview, which is usually scheduled between two and 10 months after the application deadline. Those interested must bring documents that verify household size, the identity of household members, household income, and any assets.

According to the New York Times, the system has received more than 25 million applications for roughly 40,000 units since it launched seven years ago.

The overhauled portal will now allow applicants to upload the required documents online. And to further streamline the process, the newly designed website lets New Yorkers create individual profiles and calculate their incomes to match with the open lotteries for which they best qualify. The first units will appear on the new site beginning early next month, with roughly 2,500 units available in the coming months.

“This pandemic not only caused a health crisis — it has caused an economic one as well. As stress is mounting on families across the city, we are fighting to ensure all New Yorkers are supported,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement to the Times. “The new and improved NYC Housing Connect will make applying for affordable housing easier than ever at a time that we know families need all the help they can get.”

Since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office, the number of apartments made available through a housing lottery increased. Creating and preserving affordable housing has remained one of the mayor’s main initiatives and he has pledged to bring more than 300,000 units to the city by 2026.

According to the city, more than 8,700 affordable units have been advertised through the portal in the last year alone. Any applications submitted via the old website will still be active until the lotteries have closed.

[Via NY Times]


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