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Resources for Affordable Housing in NYC


Baisley Park Gardens apartment housing,Queens - 125-60 Sutphin Boulevard - Rockaway Boulevard, Digital ID 1558444, New York Public LibraryThis post offers information about affordable, subsidized and supportive housing programs in New York City.

The various federal, state and local rules and departments governing non-market housing in New York City can be a difficult maze to navigate: there are some support and advocacy organizations at the bottom of the page that may be able to help you chart your path through the NYC housing universe. Remember you can also visit the information desk at your local library branch for help looking for housing information or applications.

Affordable Housing

  • In New York City, "affordable housing" is defined as developments built with city money with below-market rents.
  • Apartments are made available to applicants who qualify via lottery. The administrating body is HPD: The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. A description of the lottery system.
  • The lotteries for subsidized housing units in private buildings—many of which are a mix of market-rate and affordable rents—are advertised in community newspapers. In the case of new buildings, a construction site sign will be posted with the management company’s contact information. Some listings can also be found on the New York City Housing Development Corporation site, and the NYC HPD site.
  • Through NYC Housing Connect, you can learn how to apply for affordable housing in New York City, view current and upcoming housing opportunities, and complete an application for your household. The NYC Housing Connect page provides instructions and information on applying for affordable housing.
  • The management company for the building in question provides the applications.
  • The New York City Housing Development Corporation offers information on the application process.

Mitchell-Lama Housing

Mitchell-Lama is a form of subsidized housing aimed at middle-income people, built in the 1950s-1970s, throughout the state of New York. This category of housing is not being built anymore. Mitchell-Lama buildings are buildings rather than units. Some are rentals and some are co-ops. The rent tends to be lower than market rate but is generally not low enough for low-income New Yorkers. Rent and fees in Mitchell-Lama buildings are tied to the cost of running the building. Building owners receive tax abatements for as long as they remain in the program. Landlords can withdraw from Mitchell-Lama by paying off the mortgage: depending on the age of the building, it may then switch to rent-stabilized or market-rate rents.

Public Housing

Rent Controlled & Rent Stabilized Housing

Information from the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal

  • What is the difference between rent stabilized and rent controlled apartments? Rent control applies generally to buildings constructed before 1947. Rent stabilization generally covers buildings built after 1947 and before 1974, and apartments removed from rent control. It also covers buildings that receive J-51 and 421-a tax benefits.
  • Find more information on rent control from the Metropolitan Council on Housing
  • Information on rent stabilization from the Metropolitan Council on Housing

Section 8

  • Section 8 vouchers are sometimes just known as “vouchers” or as “housing choice vouchers.”
  • Section 8 is funded through the federal government and run by federal regulations, but is administered locally by the City of New York. This means NYCHA pays part of the rent each month directly to the landlord for an eligible family who have been issued a voucher, in accordance with regulations of the The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The housing choice vouchers are administered locally by public housing agencies: in our case the New York City Housing Authority.
  • Because Section 8 isn’t considered an entitlement benefit, applicants face competition for eligibility and won’t necessarily receive the vouchers even if they qualify.
  • The application process: eligibility is determined through the government, but finding available apartments is up to the individual, applying to each building separately.
  • There is a waiting list for all Section 8 buildings in New York City, but some are long and some are short. You call the management company of the building you are interested in, and they will tell you.
  • On the HUD website is the list of all of the properties accepting Section 8 vouchers. Search for buildings by State, City, Zip Code, and/or specific building.
  • The New York City Housing Authority also compiles lists of available apartments, including contact information. Contact each building management company to determine what the waiting list is like and how to put your name on it. 
  • NYCHA has a Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771 with which applicants can check the status of their application. 8 AM – 5PM, Monday through Friday.
  • More information about what Section 8 is and who qualifies can be found on the NYCHA and HUD websites as well as
  • How to apply for Section 8 housing if you have a criminal record, from the Bronx Defenders.

Supportive Housing

  • Defined as permanent housing linked to services, supportive housing aims to enable New Yorkers to live on their own (as opposed to in institutions) with the medical or social services they require available on-site.
  • Information on New York City’s HIV/AIDS Services Administration housing (a.k.a. HASA Housing) is available from the Metropolitan Council on Housing
  • The Supportive Housing Network for New York can also provide information about types of supportive housing and eligibility.

VASH (Veterans Administration Supported Housing)

  • Also called “HUD-VASH
  • Gives out a certain number of Section 8 vouchers to eligible homeless and otherwise vulnerable US armed forces veterans

Housing Advocacy/Assistance


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Super-Useful post

This is a wonderful post, Jessica. It is so helpful to have all the possibilities for finding an affordable place to live in NYC in one place.


I am a student from nyc lab school. My parents are low income New Yorker working in New York City. I am their sixteen years old daughter. We have a difficult time looking for housing and we had a harsh living condition. We almost giving up our hope because there are really no one can help us. I hope there are some who can help us and reach out as a community to help us find a comfortable apartment to live. I wonder if there are any housing rental available or lottery waiting list application available. Please email the application to person name Xiu Bin Ou Yang 62 Forsyth St Apt 23 New York, NY. Thanks With love.

super relevant post!

I can't think of a timelier or more useful post. Thanks!

Affordable Housing

If you live in New York and have a Rent Controlled or Rent Stabilized apartment, you should know that on June l5, 2011 the rent control and rent stabilization laws may end. There is a movement afoot by landlords to change the landscape of housing, so that they can charge any rent they choose. The House of Representatives already voted in favor of keeping Rent Control and Rent Regulations. Governor Andrew Cuomo also favors keeping these laws, as it would be an economic crisis of major proportions, if the laws are discontinued. Most middle income or lower income tenants would have to move to other states, because there simply are very few sources of affordable housing, as well as waiting lists that are very long. Often there are many thousands of people waiting for a few hundred available apartments. Unless you are a person of unlimited means and do not care how high your rent is raised, please contact your Senators and Governor Cuomo, and ask them to vote in favor of strengthening the Rent Stabilization and Rent Control laws. Thank you. Have a beautiful summer. Blessings to you and yours!

Well, what happened?

Well, what happened?

I Elham Aziz have 5 kids my

I Elham Aziz have 5 kids my family don't help me and I could barely pay my rent and I'm separated from my husband I have no one that help Me I know I'm not the only one whose applying for housing but I like to try my best and give my kid the best life they could get and I hope you guys help also I hope you receive this letter thank u so much.

Affordable housing

In December of 2009 I lost my Job, apartment and Section 8. I lost my section 8 because of Section 8 mistake and I feel I was blackball. I couldn't afford to pay the rent and I was evicted and was told that I qualify for housing. I apply for housing and was told that I wasn't a resident of NYC and that I will be put on the waiting list. I reply back letting them know that I was born and raised in the Bronx for 46 yrs and asked how am I not a resident of NYC. they then replied back with an apology and then reply back saying I make to much money and was asked of me to send in my 4 or six recent pay stub. I sent it and haven't heard from anyone as of yet. Is there anyone that can assist me in this matter. Thank You

My granddaughter..

My oldest granddaughter has a child with PKS (Pallister-killian symdrome.and shes been waiting for Housing to call her my greatgrandson is a child with special needs and these people (PUBLIC HOUSING) still tell her that they can't help her ..I don't understand why when people with public housing don't really need it but they sure do get them..if anyone knows of a way that I or my granddaughter get any help please let me know..

Great post.

Great post.

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