NYC will repair 400 vacant rent-stabilized apartments to house homeless New Yorkers

April 20, 2023

New York City will invest up to $10 million to provide homeless New Yorkers with newly repaired, rent-stabilized homes. As part of the new “Unlocking Doors” program, the city will invest up to $25,000 for urgent renovations at 400 rent-stabilized homes that have fallen into disrepair and are unavailable for rent. The city will then match households with City Fighting Homeless and Eviction Prevention Supplement (CityFHEPS) vouchers with the new apartments.

“Our administration is ‘unlocking doors’ and giving New Yorkers the key not just to a new home, but also to a brighter, safer, more prosperous future,” Mayor Eric Adams said.

“Since we released ‘Housing Our Neighbors’ last year, getting New Yorkers into safe, high-quality, affordable homes has been this administration’s north star. And with this innovative program, we are doing exactly that while tackling two major challenges at the same time — adding much-needed, affordable housing supply to the market and connecting some of the lowest-income New Yorkers living in shelters with high-quality, permanent housing.”

The program will start accepting applicants this summer and aims to encourage property owners with very low-rent apartments to make their units habitable and safe for prospective tenants. New Yorkers will receive a two-year lease with a rent-stabilized monthly rent and can use their CityFHEPS vouchers to pay up to one-third of their income for rent, with the city covering the rest.

In order to apply for the program as a property owner, owners must prove that their apartment is “chronically vacant,” and has been registered with the state’s Homes and Community Renewal (NYS HCR) as continuously vacant. Their apartment must also not exceed program-specific rent thresholds, and they must be willing to sign a rent-stabilized lease with a CityFHEPS voucher holder.

While the city is still determining the exact eligibility criteria, the program will focus on units at the lowest stabilized rent levels, or around $1,200 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. Property owners won’t receive repair expenses until an eligible New Yorker with a CityFHEPS voucher moves in.

The city’s “Unlocking Doors” program builds upon key goals set in Mayor Eric Adams’ “Housing Our Neighbors” blueprint that was released last summer. Part of the blueprint involved identifying creative ways to add to NYC’s housing supply.


During 2022, 38,621 of the city’s approximately one million rent-stabilized apartments were registered as vacant, according to City Limits. This comes at a time when the city has record-high rents and more than 70,000 people sleeping in homeless shelters every night.

The announcements come as the city continues to struggle with a severe housing shortage. In March, it was revealed that NYC’s multi-family housing production was down for the third straight month, with less than 30 total filings for new developments across the five boroughs. In order for the city to keep up with its projected growth, 560,000 new homes need to be created.


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