LivingTravelEssential Resources for Affordable Housing in New York

Essential Resources for Affordable Housing in New York

The concept of “affordable housing” in New York may seem almost an oxymoron. But, if you know exactly where to look, there are continued opportunities for some very lucky low- and middle-income applicants, both to rent and to buy in the city. With a lottery system, demand that exceeds supply, and strict criteria across the board, applying can be a long and frustrating process with absolutely no guarantees. But for those lucky few who make it through, getting approved and moving into an affordable housing unit may be the last dream fulfilled in New York City.

Many New Yorkers overlook the opportunities available to them on the affordable housing front because they simply don’t know where to start. That’s why we’ve done the groundwork for you – here are 4 essential resources for any New Yorker looking for affordable housing opportunities in New York:


NYC Housing Connect, a service provided by the Housing Preservation and Development Department (HPD) and the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), lists a database of affordable housing rental opportunities throughout New York. Through their website, you can search lists of current and future housing opportunities for rentals in new and city-funded buildings in Manhattan and the other boroughs of New York. You can also create a free account there, which allows you to set up an application for your home and apply for the affordable housing possibilities that best suit you.

(Note that mail-in applications are also accepted, for the less tech-savvy.)

Please note that to be selected, you will not only need to qualify for the property (eligibility requirements vary by property), but you will also need to be randomly selected in the lottery for that property. Fortunately, you will also be able to track the history of your applications on the NYC Housing Connect website, although keep in mind that it typically takes between two and 10 months to hear pending applications (and those that are not selected as winners). lottery players may just not hear anything at all). Also note that you should try to apply to properties that are close to your current place of residence, as preference is generally given to residents currently living in the same community as the property in question.

For more information, visit .


The Mitchell-Lama Housing program (supported by the Housing Preservation and Development Department, or HPD) was implemented in the 1950s to provide cooperative and rental housing opportunities to moderate and middle-income applicants in New York. Applicants can find Mitchell-Lama apartments that are rented or sold (in cooperatives) through waiting lists maintained by each development, which applicants can attempt to enter by entering a lottery.

By visiting the Mitchell-Lama Connect site, applicants can view available properties, create an account, enter waitlist lotteries, and track income status Please note that while income requirements are similar For both rental and purchased units, more capital is required from applicants for eligibility to purchase one of the cooperative units. Aside from income, eligibility requirements are related to family size and apartment size, and each development designates its own eligibility parameters.


Keep in mind that many of the Mitchell-Lamas have such long waiting lists that they have closed them for the foreseeable future. However, there are some Mitchell-Lama developments with open waiting lists (which do not require a lottery), and other Mitchell-Lama developments with short waiting lists. For more information, visit


Founded in 1971, the New York City Housing Development Corporation, or HDC, is the entity behind programs like NYC Housing Connect and the Mitchell-Lama Housing program, and also helps provide financing for low-income housing and moderate. A public benefit corporation, HDC’s stated mission is “to increase the supply of multi-family housing, stimulate economic growth, and revitalize neighborhoods by financing the creation and preservation of affordable housing for low, moderate, and middle-income New Yorkers.”

Beyond the NYC Housing Connect and Mitchell-Lama Housing programs, the agency works with other organizations to promote affordable housing throughout New York. You can search their listings and apply online for lotteries related to currently available rentals, with opportunities for low- and middle-income applicants (you can check current income requirements here). There are also a limited number of cooperatives for sale; check current listings here. For more information, visit


The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) has a mission to “promote the construction and preservation of high-quality, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families in affluent and diverse neighborhoods in every county. by enforcing quality housing standards, financing the development and preservation of affordable housing, and ensuring good management of the city’s affordable housing stock. It is the agency responsible for carrying out Mayor Bill de Blasio’s initiative, Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan , which is worth looking into: it aims to finance the construction and preservation of some 200,000 affordable housing units. in New York by 2024.


Visitors to the HPD site can search for HPD-sponsored low- and moderate-income Lottery-powered rental opportunities, including NYC Housing Connect and Mitchell-Lama properties, as well as a selection of city-subsidized rental opportunities. They also maintain a list of city-sponsored homeownership opportunities, which are also available to eligible applicants through a lottery system. Other helpful services include HPD’s online first-time homebuyer course and its HomeFirst down payment assistance program for first-time homebuyers.

For more information, visit

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