5 Steps for Applying to the Affordable Housing in New York City

By: Abdullah Haroon

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New York City is a dream city that has become an icon of modern civilization. The city attracts thousands of immigrants each year which means higher competition for finite available houses. It all translates to the ever increasing hike in property prices as well as rents. Therefore, managing a home of your own is a real feat in NYC.

A befitting alternative is NYC affordable housing. Over years, applicants have increased exponentially which makes the probability of getting home quite low. However, one should try one’s best and should prepare an application that can increase the chances of getting a house.

Let us get to know about affordable housing in detail and learn the procedure to prepare the application well.

What is Affordable Housing?

As a rule of thumb, if the unit costs you less than or equal to one-third of your gross income. If someone has to spend more than one-third of one’s income, it may be anything but affordable housing.

Why Affordable Housing is Trending?

Affordable housing has always been an appealing option but it has gained more currency in recent times. It owes its popularity to the NYC mayor’s announcement to bring 300,000 affordable units into the market. It was followed by a host of new lotteries. The application procedure also saw up-gradation and is made more user friendly. Senior citizens and homeless people are encouraged more to get benefits from this system.

Though, confusion is still in the air as even affordable housing has certain income criteria that must be met to be able to get the benefit of NYC affordable housing.

What is NYC Housing Connect?

NYC Housing Connect is the platform where new Yorkers may apply for affordable housing. It has become more user-friendly so you may find the option of different languages; some six languages can be found there which are English, Arabic, “simplified” Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian and Spanish.

You may apply online by filling in information on the website or may apply through the mail before the deadline. There is no discrimination based on it.

5 Steps for Applying for Affordable Housing in New York:

1. Find Affordable Housing Listings

Get started by simply finding where affordable housings are available. You may take the help of the internet which can serve you well in your cause. In addition to it, ask your friends and family and seek information from them if they know any such option. Besides, you may hire the services of any agent who gives you this valued information.

2. Thoroughly Read Guidelines

Once you came to know that there is affordable housing available in the market, try to get as much information as you could for that particular property. It means reading the guidelines thoroughly and finding out the eligibility criteria. In addition to it, you need to know the application procedure so you may come prepared when applying.

3. Submit your Application

You have done the major homework for affordable housing. Now you know where affordable housing is available and what exactly are the criteria which you have to qualify? You must have prepared your documents as described in the guidelines and now you may apply for them. You may explore either of the two options: online or via mail. There is no extra priority to any of them and will be treated equally.

Read Also: Here are the 100 most Affordable Streets and Neighborhoods in NYC

Note: only apply to those where you truly fulfill the eligibility criteria rather than wasting your time and energy.

4. Wait for the Procedural Work

While you have applied for the housing, you need to learn that thousands of others have also applied for it. So it is going to be tough work for the department to go through all the applications and confirm their eligibility. It is likely to take 3 to 9 months in doing it. Meanwhile, you need to have patience and wait for your call. Besides, you may look up other affordable housing listings and may apply them following the same steps.

5. If Selected, Confirm your Eligibility

If you are lucky enough and have followed all the instructions well, you are likely to receive a confirmation letter. Now you need t to prove everything you mentioned in your application. Gather your documents and confirm your eligibility at the given appointment.

Note: if you are not selected, you have an option to appeal against it. Meanwhile, you may pursue other affordable housings where you have better chances.

Some General Information:

Follow the following instruction to maximize your chance of winning an affordable house:

  • The first thing to take care of is not to duplicate your application. That means that if you have applied online then there is no need to send it via mail. In addition to it, not more than one member of the same family may apply for the same house.
  • As a general rule, municipal employees are given priority and those who already live in the same Community Board District. Besides, people with mobility, hearing, and/or vision impairments are also likely to have more chances.
  • You need to learn thoroughly about the income bracket for eligibility. Not only do you have to fall in that bracket but also prove your claims. To enhance your chances, prepare your documents for evidence well.
  • Those with mobility, hearing, and/or vision impairments might also be given priority.
  • Having a criminal record or being a convict in court is likely to hurt your cause. Better to give the application under the name whose record is clear.
  • Be patient with your application and hold on.

Final Takeaway:

Now you know how the process of how to apply for affordable housing in NYC. Follow the procedure well to maximize your winning chances. We wish you the best of luck in your campaign for affordable housing.

Related Article:

Myths And Truth About NYC Affordable Housing Lotteries