It’s not unheard of for people to actually win Affordable Housing lotteries. But the key is not to hop on a fancy listing that made it onto Gothamist or DNAinfo. Those are going to get mobbed like a 100 million dollar MegaMillions. The key is to visit NYC Housing Connect on a semi-regular basis. Actually the best way is to sign up for the site’s mailing list and you’ll get notification as soon as a new listing becomes available.
Unlike the old days, you’re not filling out individual in-depth forms each time. You complete your income and household composition just once and it will input it into each application automatically. Find a listing in a borough you like, a couple of clicks and you’re done.
You’d be surprised at the range of incomes. People either complain that the maximum income is too low for the average person (true… how is a family of 4 living on $28,000?!?) or the minimum is way too high (it’s NYC “low income” is relative). Plus if you’re anything like me, who knows what your life might be like in 5 years. An application might come through for you at just the moment you’re thinking of moving into your parent’s basement.
But don’t even think of using it as extra income while you keep your rent controlled place. So many people got busted renting out their apartments on AirBnB in a mixed income building in LIC with river views. They were summarily evicted. Good. I’m sure it made for a sweet hotel for some tourists, but this is not what the program is about. It’s about meeting a crucial need in NYC. There just aren’t any other new middle income units coming on the market.
So if you’re getting sick of your roommates and don’t see a way out anytime soon, just put in an application a couple of times a month. You gotta be in it to win it: NYC Housing Connect