De Blasio Makes Affordable Housing Easier For The Needy

Housing lottery rules have been changed to allow more of the people who need it to have access.

By Team Agorafy October 26, 2016

Mayor Bill De Blasio recently announced a new set of guidelines for the rent regulated affordable housing lottery. These changes are actually in favor of the people who need housing. The most important change may be that an application can’t be rejected anymore because of an appearance in housing court or because of an applicant’s credit score. This is great news, because like most people who need housing assistance, the struggle is real, and is reflected in the status of the applicant’s financial history. Likewise, these changes will help make sure the housing goes to those who most need it by imposing assets restrictions as well. This is so, for example, a millennial with a trust fund and an internship with Meryl Lynch, can’t bogart a studio in Williamsburg that is meant for say, an artist with no savings account.

Related: Affordable Housing For Who? HDFC Helps Struggling Trust Fund Kids

This is great news because as New Yorkers know, housing is not cheap and the affordable housing lottery is a great way of accessing proper housing at a reasonable price for themselves and their families. Mayor De Blasio said in a recent statement, “Every New Yorker deserves equal access to an affordable home, including veterans, the elderly and homeless individuals and families. Disqualifications based solely on credit history, or because a tenant fought for his or her rights in housing court, have no place in our affordable housing programs. These key improvements to the rules level the playing field and give every household the chance to find a home within their means.”

Photo courtesy of WFUV Photo courtesy of WFUV

There’s a handbook that you can download that can answer any question about what the exact rules are and what changes that have been made to the former structure. You can also download the rules and guidelines here.

These changes are the first to be implemented since 2013 and were based on feedback about the lottery process by applicants, advocates and developers.

Mayor De Blasio’s administration has created over 23,284 affordable apartments so far this year, which is the second highest level ever in New York City history and the greatest number since the Koch administration. The mayor’s plan was to create 200,000 available units over 10 years and to build 80,000 additional units. He also wants to preserve the existing affordable housing, which is presently at 120,000 units.

Unlike most political policy and red tape, his plan is actually ahead of schedule. He has created more housing for those New Yorkers earning less than $24,000 per year with an increase of 3,500 new apartments for such applicants.

Other guidelines that are notably changing are:

  • To enforce stricter guidelines that ensure that applicants are using the particular affordable unit as their primary residence.
  • More transparency and accessibility in terms of interview locations, and providing interpretation services that includes American Sign Language.
  • Making the appeal process more transparent.
  • Revising the existing interview standards to ensure greater privacy and security of personal information.

This is all in an attempt to accommodate all New Yorkers—so everyone regardless of income can have a safe slice of the Big Apple—and so our city doesn’t completely turn into a shopping mall frequented only by millionaires who have hedge funds and six nannies.

Team Agorafy



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