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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

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In spite of everything, affordable housing can still be found throughout New York. In spite of everything, affordable housing can still be found throughout New York.
Updated 5/21/2020 to include new lotteries on the Upper West Side, Harlem, Bushwick, East New York, and the Bronx.

Under the de Blasio administration, New York City has rolled out several new affordable housing initiatives (for more details, see the mayor’s latest housing plan, Housing New York 2.0). In September 2019, the city reported that 136,912 new affordable units had been built through both new construction and refurbishment of existing units, and that it was nearly halfway to the goal of 300,000 set in Housing New York 2.0.

However, the COVID-19 pandemic may keep that goal from being achieved. The State of New York deemed construction of affordable housing to be an essential function, but Bisnow reports that 34 affordable projects with a total of 6,900 units were paused by developers. Additional projects throughout the city are experiencing slowdowns owing to a diminished construction labor force and a slowdown in the supply chain. As the need for affordable housing is only expected to rise, the timing could scarcely be less fortunate.

At the same time, there is reason for optimism; Multi-Housing News cites increased demand, the stability of affordable housing as an investment, and cities' emphasis on affordable development as a means of public safety. Indeed, building sites all over New York have reopened with new safety protocols in place to keep workers safe and keep construction going.

Through it all, there is a large number of programs throughout the city and state. This is good news for people seeking affordable housing, but each has its own rules and restrictions to navigate. This article focuses on New York City and New York State programs designed to assist renters.
New York-CIyt-housing-3 City initiatives to boost and preserve NYC's affordable housing

• NYC Housing Connect Lotteries

If you’re interested in an affordable housing unit, the first thing to do is visit the NYC Housing Connect website and find out if you qualify and more specifically, find out if you qualify for any current housing lotteries (different lotteries may have different types of units available). Next, apply on the NYC Housing Connect website by opening an account. Then you just have to wait and see if your number is called. If it is, you’ll then be asked to compile hundreds of pages of paperwork,and undergo an interview. If the paperwork is too daunting, reach out to an NYC Housing Ambassador or contact a Ready to Rent Office in your borough. If your paperwork and interview check out, you may still find yourself waiting and you may never even be granted a unit. This is because NYC housing lotteries select more applicants than there are available units. While this may sound unfair, there are two reasons this is generally done: First, many people are disqualified once they submit their paperwork, and second, the process is so onerous, many New Yorkers drop out of the process before ever gaining access to a unit.

The benefits of entering a housing lottery are fairly obvious—if you do “win” (but bear in mind, this is a game of low odds since some lotteries receive upwards of 70,000 applications), you’ll end up with an affordable or reasonably affordable rent stabilized apartment in New York City. Also, many of the available units are highly desirable. Housing lottery units are often housed in swank new mixed-income buildings with appealing amenities from state-of-the-art gyms to roof-top decks to game rooms. The downside of the housing lottery system is that much is left up to chance, the paperwork is onerous, and if you’re in the top 25% percent of eligible applicants, you may still end up paying close to market rent for your unit.

If you have any questions related to the following lotteries, please direct them to Housing Connect. CityRealty is not affiliated with affordable housing lotteries and cannot offer assistance in this regard.

486-East-28th-Street-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

407-Lenox-Avenue-1 Rendering of The Robeson via Lemor Development Group
407-Lenox-Avenue-2 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

911-Erskine-Street-01 Fountain Seaview via Aufgang Architects
911-Erskine-Street-1 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

2513 Wallace Avenue, Olinville
2513-Wallace-Avenue-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

85-Rutledge-Street-01 Rendering of 85 Rutledge Street via JGoldman Design
85-Rutledge-Street-01

1431-Vyse-Avenue-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

2338-Second-Avenue-02 Rendering via HAP Investment Developers
2338-Second-Avenue-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

2155-Caton-Avenue-02 Rendering of 2155 Caton Avenue via Z Architecture
2155-Caton-Avenue-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

325-Gates-Avenue-01 Rendering of 325 Gates Avenue via ND Architecture
325-Gates-Avenue-02 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

1098-Madison-Street-02 Rendering via Loopnet
1098-Madison-Street-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

2245-Creston-Avenue-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

21-10-27th-Street-01 One LIC via Udi Almog, VHT
21-10-27th-Street-02 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

83-Stockholm-Street-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

746-East-214th-Street-01
746-East-214th-Street-02 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

2543-Cruger-Avenue-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

343-Ralph-Avenue-01 343 Ralph Avenue via CityRealty
343-Ralph-Avenue-02 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

144-74-Northern-Boulevard-01 The Urban via Ismael Leyva Architects
144-74-Northern-Boulevard-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

555-Grand-Street-01 Rendering via CityRealty
555-Grand-Street-02 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

741 Concourse Village West, 702 Grand Concourse & 180 East 156th Street
255 units from $331/month | Deadline June 17, 2020

180-East-156th-Street-02 Rendering via Joy Construction NYC
180-East-156th-Street-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

161-11-132nd-Street-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

470-Manhattan-Avenue-01 Rendering via Heatherwood Luxury Rentals
470-Manhattan-Avenue-02 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

1932-Bryant-Avenue-02 Rendering via Dattner Architects
1932-Bryant-Avenue-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

460-Main-Street-02 Rendering via Related Companies
460-Main-Street-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

603-Pontiac-Place-01 Rendering of 603 Pontiac Place via INTUS Windows
603-Pontiac-Place-02 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

7-Livonia-Avenue-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

2051-Ryer-Avenue-01 Rendering of 2051 Ryer Avenue via Mega Contracting Group
2051-Ryer-Avenue-02 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

555-Waverly-Avenue-01 Rendering via HTO Architect
555-Waverly-Avenue-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

310-West-127th-Street-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

2858-Linden-Boulevard-02 Linden Terrace rendering via Radson Development
2858-Linden-Boulevard-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

Waterline-Square-01 Waterline Square via GID Development
Waterline-Square-02 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

158-East-126th-Street-01 The Smile via CityRealty
158-East-126th-Street-02 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

418-Snediker-Avenue-1 Rendering via OCV Architects
418-Snediker-Avenue-2 Lottery criteria via Community Counseling & Mediation

1175 Gerard Avenue, 108-110 East 176th Street, 760 Hunts Point Avenue, 2292 Loring Place North
One- through four-bedroom affordable units from $829/month | Applications accepted on an ongoing basis

Plover-Apartments-01 Plover Apartments interiors via The Lemle & Wolff Companies
Throughout the Bronx, a series of affordable rental apartments are under rehabilitation. During the process, households of one to eight people are encouraged to apply for vacancies. The project is being financed through the Low-Income Affordable Marketplace Program (LAMP) of the New York City Housing Development Corporation and the Third Party Transfer (TPT) of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. See further details and criteria here.
Plover-Apartments-02 Lottery criteria via The Lemle & Wolff Companies

Previous Affordable Lotteries
277-Milford-Street-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

209-211-213-Troy-Avenue-02 209-213 Troy Avenue via Urban Pads
209-211-213-Troy-Avenue-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

210-Parkville-Avenue-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

1597-Lincoln-Place-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

102-Somers-Street-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

538-East-142nd-Street-01 Rendering of 538 East 142nd Street via NYC HPD
538-540-East-142nd-Street-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

217-Boerum-Street-01 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

150-Van-Cortlandt-Avenue-East-1 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect
515-East-86th-Street-1 Rendering via Arquitectonica
515-East-86th-Street-2 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

3120 Park Avenue and 451 East 159th Street
31 units from $359/month | Deadline May 22, 2020

3120-Park-Avenue-1 Rendering of Park and Elton Apartments via Hirschen Singer & Epstein
3120-Park-Avenue-2 Lottery criteria via Housing Connect

The lotteries run through Housing Connect are perhaps the city's best-known resource for affordable housing, and it shows: An article in The New York Times noted that the odds of securing an affordable apartment through a housing lottery are one in 592. This is daunting, but it is also not the only option in town. There are several programs to help renters on low and fixed incomes, not to mention other options for middle-income New Yorkers who might need help finding adequate housing.

• NYCHA Developments

Income restrictions are generally lower than they are for affordable housing programs, but they do include a wide range of New Yorkers (e.g., a family of four can have a household income up to $83,450). There are also a few other requirements to apply for a NYCHA unit. First, you must meet NYCHA’s definition of family, which is either a single person or “Two or more persons related by blood, marriage, domestic partnership, adoption, guardianship, or court awarded custody.” In addition, your admission to a public housing development cannot endanger the welfare and safety of other residents. Finally, you and your co-applicant (spouse or domestic partner, if any) must be at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor. To apply, visit the NYCHA website.
NYCHA (New York City Housing Authority) aims to provide “decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low- and moderate-income residents throughout the five boroughs.” NYCHA also happens to be the largest public housing program in the United States. Since its inception, the program has created more than developments across the city’s five boroughs. In fact, NYCHA units currently represent 8% of the city’s rental apartments. To find out where NYCHA buildings are located, consult the city’s downloadable map or interactive map. Notably, NYCHA has different types of units for different demographics (e.g., some NYCHA buildings are for seniors exclusively).
So, what do you get if you qualify for a NYCHA unit? The average NYCHA unit rents for $522 per month, making it the most affordable way for families to live in New York City. However, many NYCHA developments are also in disrepair and in some cases, the buildings have even been deemed dangerous. In July 2018, reports surfaced that when tested, 820 children under six living in NYCHA units had elevated levels of lead in their blood. While the city currently has expressed many good intentions about repairing NYCHA buildings, but there is a lot of work to be done and deep federal cuts to NYCHA’s capital budget aren’t helping matters.
via nyc.gov
Smith-Houses-04 A vision of new infill development at the Smith House in lower Manhattan

• Section 8

NYCHA not only oversees a large part of New York City’s rental housing but also administers the Section 8 program. There are currently approximately 90,000 Section 8 homes in New York City and over 29,000 owners participate in the program.

Section 8 is a voucher program that offers assistance to eligible low- and moderate-income families (income restrictions can be found here) who are struggling to pay rent on the private market. For example, if you’re a family of four living on up to $52,150, you are eligible for Section 8 assistance. But qualifying for Section 8 doesn’t mean that you won’t pay any rent at all. The program is simply designed to ensure families don’t pay more than 40% of their adjusted monthly income toward their rent. NYCHA pitches in the remaining amount on the family’s behalf and owners receive what is known as a Housing Assistance Payment directly for the authority. You can learn more about Section 8 and apply on the NYCHA website.
(CityRealty)

• Mitchell-Lama Rentals

Mitchell-Lama is a housing program for both renters and buyers in New York State. Currently, to qualify for a Mitchell-Lama rental unit, depending on your family size, the income cut-offs range from $53,450 to $100,750. While rentals do become available in Mitchell-Lama buildings from time to time, the waitlists tend to be long. You can find a list of open Mitchell-Lama waitlists and check the status of current waitlists online.

If you do acquire a Mitchell-Lama rental, the rewards can be great. Most Mitchell-Lama units rent for $1000 to $2000 per month and this includes units large enough to house an entire family. However, simply getting a Mitchell-Lama takes many tenants years and even more than a decade.
Averne-View-03 Arverne View, a Mitchell-Lama development in Far Rockaway that was damaged by Superstorm Sandy

• Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE)

Currently, seniors are among the city’s most vulnerable residents. Indeed, over the coming years, the population of elderly New Yorkers is expected to increase dramatically. One program designed to directly assist the city’s elders is the Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) Program. This program ensures that income-eligible people over 62 years of age who live in rent controlled or rent stabilized apartments are exempt from future rental increases.

Affordable Housing Programs for the Middle Class

In most cities, middle-class households don’t actually need assistance to rent a home. In fact, in most cities, middle-class families are more likely to own than rent. But New York City is an exception to the rule. Many middle-class families, including those making above $100,000 per year, struggle to find adequate housing. To help out, the city has recently ramped up its affordable housing program. These units are distributed through housing lotteries. While income restrictions still do apply, in the case of affordable housing, households can make up to $182,655 annually and still qualify. Another longstanding form of relief for renters is rent stabilization, which applies to approximately one million apartments in the city (find more information below).
Pacific Park's middle income affordable building, 535 Carlton (https://535carlton.com)
Income bands at 535 Carlton Avenue

• Rent Stabilization

Although New York has lost much of its rent stabilized apartment stock in recent years, these units do still exist, especially outside Manhattan. First and foremost, unlike other affordable housing programs, you don’t have to meet any special income requirements to rent a rent stabilized unit. If you work on Wall Street but don’t want to spend all your money on rent, you too can benefit from this program. How cheap are these units? While most rent stabilized units aren’t dirt cheap, they are priced well under market value because owners are not permitted to raise rents on such units above allowable annual thresholds (usually 1.5% to 2.5%). While some listings indicate that the unit is rent stabilized, the best rent stabilized units are often passed along via word of mouth or acquired by simply calling an owner directly to ask about availabilities. You can search for rent stabilized units on NYC Rent Guidelines Board website. If you think your current unit is rent stabilized but not being treated as a rent stabilized unit, you can also consult the city’s guidelines online.
Rent-Stabilized-Apartments-03 Published in May 2018 by the NYC Rent Guidelines Board
Navigating New York’s available programs for renters may not be easy, but many of these programs do offer considerable relief to renters. In addition, given the current administration’s stated commitment to building more affordable housing for New Yorkers, there is hope that moving forward, new programs targeting people living on low, fixed and middle incomes will be established.

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Spacious 1 Bedrooms with outdoor space and in-residence w/d View Property
Luxury Homes in Midtown | Newly Renovated Studio-2BR Homes View Property

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