Photo via Wiki Commons
Affordable housing is one of the hottest topics in the real estate market these days. It all started with Mayor de Blasio’s plan to preserve or build 300,000 affordable units by 2026, which has resulted in a slew of new lotteries, a recent update to the lottery policy to ease the process for immigrants and low-income New Yorkers, and a record number of affordable homes for seniors and homeless New Yorkers. But the topic is not without its issues, with many still wondering if the city is doing enough for affordability and if some of these units are really affordable. Whatever your opinion, there’s no doubt that affordable housing in NYC can get quite confusing. Ahead, 6sqft breaks down the different types of programs, how you can qualify and apply, and what happens if and when you get in.
Everything you need to know about affordable housing
Via Creative Commons
New Yorkers applying for affordable housing no longer need to provide credit scores or social security numbers, making it easier for low-income and undocumented immigrant households to qualify, the city announced Wednesday. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development expanded the guidelines of its affordable housing lottery policy to allow applicants to show 12 months of positive rental history instead of a credit check run by a landlord. This erases the need for adult household members to provide a social security number or an individual tax identification number.
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Previous rendering of the original project; Via NYCHA
The New York City Housing Authority has ditched plans to build a private 47-story apartment building on top of a playground on the Upper East Side, agency officials said Friday. The original plan called for a 300-unit tower to replace the playground at the Holmes Tower public housing complex with half of the units affordable and the other half at market-rate, the latter meant to raise funds for repairs at the tower. The new plan for the site will increase the number of market-rate apartments in order to collect more money, NYCHA officials told THE CITY.
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“More with Less,” a winning entry by Palette Architecture
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the American Institute of Architects New York (AIANY) announced on Tuesday the selection of five New York City-based firms as finalists in the Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC design competition for small-scale, urban infill housing. As 6sqft previously reported, the program was organized by HPD and AIANY as a way to address the challenges associated with the design and construction of affordable housing on 23 lots of underutilized city-owned land. First announced by the city last year, the program falls under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York 2.0 plan. The winning proposals were selected by a panel of nine jurors and evaluated on their design, replicability, and construction feasibility. The finalists will advance to the final stage of the program.
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Apartment hunting in New York City is not easy. Figuring out who qualifies for the city’s hundreds of income-restricted units (what even is AMI?) is another challenge entirely. In an attempt to streamline the process of finding affordable housing lotteries, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development this week unveiled a new tool that allows users to search by borough, household size, and income to find lotteries currently accepting applications.
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Rendering courtesy of Think! Architecture and Design
Hoping to create affordable housing more quickly and at a lower cost, New York City is turning to cutting-edge construction methods. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced on Monday plans to develop 167 affordable housing units in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York using modular construction. The $70 million project would become the first under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York 2.0 program to use this method of building on property owned by the city. As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, officials think modular construction could reduce the project’s timeline by 25 to 30 percent.
The city hopes to develop affordable housing on this lot at 829 Freeman Street in the Bronx; via Google Street View
The city is calling on architects to help design innovative affordable housing on irregularly-shaped lots, the New York Times reported Monday. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development will launch a design competition, along with the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, seeking ideas for housing on 23 unusually small or narrow lots across the city. The program, called Big Ideas for Small Lots NYC, was first announced by the city last year and falls under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious Housing New York 2.0 plan.
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Via public domain
While applying for affordable housing lotteries in a city with millions of applicants seems daunting, paying below-market rent in New York City is enough of an incentive to persevere through the process. Especially since it’s not totally unattainable. The New York Times reported on Friday that in 2018, the odds of winning an affordable apartment through a lottery were 1 in 592. Those are actually better chances for those applying now rather than for applicants in 2016 when the odds were about 1,000 to 1.
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The Collective Old Oak in West London
On the heels of London-based housing brand The Collective’s announcement to bring a huge, co-living community to Brooklyn, the city of New York announced on Thursday plans to get involved with the growing housing trend. The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development said it will launch a pilot program that lets developers seek public financing in exchange for creating affordable, shared-housing developments, the New York Times reported.
A proposal to revitalize Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood was announced one year ago, with a plan to bring a seven-building housing development to the area unveiled last month. And on Thursday, city officials released more details about the massive project, with new renderings and updates on its progress. As part of the Brownsville Plan, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development will bring a new arts center and school run by a group from the Brooklyn Music School and a media lab run by BRIC, new retail and commercial space, and a rooftop greenhouse with locally sourced produce. Plus, two proposals were selected as the NYCx Co-Lab Challenge winners, a competition that sought to find ways to enhance the area’s “nighttime experience.”
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