Apply For Nyc Housing Lottery - We have been participating in the affordable housing lottery for almost 25 years. My friend Lisa, who moved to New York in the mid-90s, applied to the lottery at those artists' apartments on 42nd Street. This was the first of many programs. This was back when you had to call, find out where and when they were opening, and then send a postcard to your address.
Finally, Lisa was invited to an interview at Hell's Kitchen Manhattan Plaza. He must prove that he earned at least 51 percent of his income as an artist. He's a writer and actor, and like most artists, he needs to work day jobs to make ends meet. After all the interviews and the determination of his income, it turned out that he could only prove two years of income of most artists. We had to give up the idea of living on 42nd Street.
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Less than a year later, she was invited to interview for a new building in Union Square South. They offered studio apartments that were available for a five-year lease and then market rate. I never found out what the deal was, and Lisa withdrew her application, so we never found out [Editor's Note: Housing Lottery homes are usually tied to tax credit programs, which have limited access requirements after they expire. ].
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Time passed and we were still in touch. The lottery was posted online at a website called NYC Housing Connect, and we signed up and followed up with further announcements about the opening of lottery applications. We've also put our names on the waiting lists for rent-stabilized older and under-renovation buildings. I went through list after list, made dozens of phone calls, filled out dozens more applications, and sent dozens of stamped envelopes.
Housing Connect offers have gradually become more and more interesting. We matched most of them, with our combined income at 50 percent of the regional median ($55,775 in 2015). We're both in our 50s, and moving to a fourth floor apartment in Bushwick was for us. We hoped to have an apartment in the elevator building by the age of 60.
We had to apply for more than four dozen Housing Connect spots, two dozen spots on existing waiting lists, and a few random apartments we saw here and there. I was responsible for the application.
One day we were sitting across from each other in our office when Lisa said, "Did you see that on Soldi Head in the Western Province? I just saw it appear on the Time Out website."
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She sent me the link. No, we haven't looked into that. I immediately printed out the application, filled it out, ran to the post office and sent it off.
I was excited that we found a housing option that I hadn't seen on Housing Connect or anywhere else. We have researched where else lottery houses are advertised. Lisa learned that all sweepstakes must be published in three New York newspapers. Always in the Amsterdam News, and then in two other papers, often (but not always) amNewYork and Metro (here's Brick's Complete Guide to Finding Lottery Housing).
We regularly entered lotteries where each of us qualified. Looking forward to Stuyvesant Township's 2016 list. in April In the middle of May of that year, we received an e-mail. a letter followed by a letter in the mail saying we needed to schedule an interview based on what we knew at the time. as "West 60th Street." I called to arrange an interview. We have reviewed the list of documents. It was scary, but we kept all the necessary documents carefully for the last few years. Correspondence said that we are project no. 85, Lisa thought we didn't have a chance because the building only had 52 affordable units. I thought we had an amazing opportunity!
In fact, we quickly followed the process. We have brought originals and copies of all necessary documents. And what they tell you is true: you are
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Bring copies. The city's Office of Affordable Housing cannot make copies of your documents for you. Without copies you will either be rejected outright or if you are lucky you will be reassigned and told to come back with copies.
Well, we had a suitcase full of documents, and when our assigned worker finished them all, we had a huge file for our case. He said we were entitled to the bedroom and we could finally breathe. This was not a guarantee that you would get an apartment, but it was the first step in the process. The next step will be to verify all the information we have provided.
First up were our tax statements, which she got right away, and our credit reports. Both of our credit scores are out of whack, but we somehow made it to the other side! Since then, new city rules have made it harder to get credit.
Then we waited. And he waited. And he waited. We didn't hear from our agent until mid-July, when he said he was ready to certify us and show us the apartment he had chosen for us. All that was required was to sign the self-employment certificate, get it notarized, and come to the office to make an appointment at the apartment building, which was scheduled for next Thursday.
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We passed the building after our initial interview in May, but since it was still under construction, we didn't see much. Now we got to see not just a building, but a stable house that would be ours forever! At the appointed time we went to the lobby where we sat with a group of other people and waited to be escorted.
During the orientation, we were told all the building rules. The only question people asked was, "Can we use the facilities?" The answer was yes, for an annual fee like everyone else in the building. We then split up, the four families - we being the only odd couple - visited our assigned accommodation.
I had been looking at the building site for months and we knew the floor plan for our house. We went to see it, a corner apartment, certainly much smaller than expected, but with a wonderful double exposure - a view to the west and north of Manhattan. We had until the next afternoon to say yes or no. We went back to the leasing office and signed a two-year lease promising to pay the month's rent and security deposit within 10 days. The first month's rent was free, so we will pay only in August. We didn't leave until the end of August when our lease in Bushwick was up.
We were thrilled in our new home and were amazed by the building's fast elevators and crazy amenities (gym, lounge, sun deck and pool). Our home has a full size washer and dryer, dishwasher, and nice touches (although not as expensive as the homes on the market, FYI).
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We've only been in our stabilized lottery apartment for a year and are thrilled that our rent is so low, half of what we were paying in Bushwick, and that our new neighborhood is great in every way. It's convenient. Many visiting friends express interest in entering the lottery, while others already do, but don't go to chats because they think their income has changed too much or... for a million different reasons.
What I'm saying is that you should take every opportunity to interview for affordable housing. Even if you don't qualify, you'll know what to expect next time and get your materials in order. You deserve to enjoy your lottery apartment.
Stephanie Schroeder is a freelance writer. He has written for The Guardian, Curve Magazine, Brooklyn Magazine, Healthline.com, Lambda Literary Review, and other publications. Her work has been anthologized in various collections, and she is the author of the memoir Beautiful Desire: Sex, Lies, and Suicide. Schroeder is currently editing the anthology HEADCASE: LGBTQ Writers & Artists on Mental Health and Well-Being, published by Oxford University Press. Check out Schroeder's journalism at www.stephanieschroeder.com.
Brick Underground articles sometimes include testimonials or information about advertising partners related to the story. We never promote a product without first establishing a relationship with our readers. Believe it or not, it was only seven years ago that the city's affordable housing applications went digital. The C Housing Connect website was launched in 2012. and since then, it's been easier for New Yorkers to apply for affordable housing in buildings across the five boroughs.
Affordable Housing Lottery Opens For 37 Units In Brooklyn, Starting At $666 A Month
There is no apartment. As rents in New York skyrocket and the demand for affordable housing increases, more and more people are applying for affordable housing in affordable housing. For example, the first lease under the Domino Sugar redevelopment attracted 87,000 offers for just 104 apartments.
This can make you feel hopeless about your chances of getting one of these coveted homes - and we don't.
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