How to find low income apartments for rent in NYC

Guns n’ Roses hit the bull’s eye with their famous lyrics: “Welcome to the jungle, it gets worse here every day”. Real estate market is the true jungle of NYC! Famously cut-throat, housing in The Big Apple is extremely competitive because there simply is not enough of it. Therefore affordable housing is even harder to find. Trust me, everyone in NYC wants affordable housing! But the fact is that 15,000 applications were submitted for just 200 affordable apartments, according to the report by the New York Affordable Housing Preservation Fund. Low income apartments for rent in NYC do exist, it’s just so darn hard to obtain one. But hey, no one said NYC would be easy. So before you start looking into moving quotes NYC, learn if you are eligible to get one of these low income apartments.

low income apartments for rent in nyc
Low income apartments exist in NYC they are just so hard to obtain.

Where to look for low income apartments for rent in NYC?

These are not easy to come by in NYC, but it’s worth a shot! One of the biggest resources is the NYC Housing Connect initiative. Depending on your annual income you may be eligible to apply for this program. What is NYC Housing Connect? The program is in form of a portal where you can search and apply for low income apartments for rent in NYC. This doesn’t mean that the city rents or sells housing directly but rather works with private and nonprofit developers and their affiliates to create these affordable options.

This is a lottery-based system with a growing number of applicants, and no one guarantees you will get the apartment in the end. Therefore, don’t start looking into local movers NYC just yet! NYC Housing Connect went digital only 6 years ago, making the process less difficult for New Yorkers. It allows you to apply for low income apartments for rent in NYC s 5 boroughs. While NYC’s rental market prices were going through the rough, the need for affordable housing skyrocketed. For example, 104 apartments within the Domino Sugar redevelopment, received almost 90 000 applications! Getting one of these low income apartments for rent in NYC truly feels like winning the lottery!

Low income apartments for rent in NYC
One development received 90 000 applications for just 104 apartments!

How does the system work?

The system is simple. Developers get incentives by the state in form of tax brakes and other perks and in  return, they build affordable low-income apartments. This is done through programs such as “Affordable New York” and mayor de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing initiative. Once the new building is ready for rent the developers work with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development or the Housing Development Corporation. Their main function is to allocate the said apartments through affordable housing lotteries.

low income apartments for rent in nyc
Your eligibility is based on AMI.

What do they mean by affordable? How affordable are these apartments? These low income apartments for rent in NYC can go anywhere between $600 and $2600 a month. The monthly rent is based on something called “area median income” (AMI). For example, the 2017 AMI was $85,900 for three-person family (100% AMI) in the New York City region. And this is the pre-tax income, so things like tips and freelance work count. It sounds overly complicated but each application has every figure clearly outlined.

How to apply for the low income apartments for rent in NYC?

The first step is to create a profile on NYC Housing Connect. This is probably the easiest part of your application process. You will be required to enter your personal info and most importantly, your income. This part of the application determines your eligibility for low income apartments. If you are not sure what your household’s income is, don’t worry. The HPD has a useful guide that will help you figure out how to calculate it. Once you are done filling out your profile with all the necessary details, it will be saved in the system and ready to use in the further processes.

NYC Housing Connect website shows new listings regularly hence, it is a good idea to check the website daily so you don’t miss out. HDC breaks down the available units by the type of program each one falls under. For example one of them is ELLA-“Extremely-Low and Low-Income Affordability Program”. Basically, the Housing Development Corporation makes a very complicated bureaucratic process, fairly easy by breaking everything down for you during the application process.

Can you better your chances at getting one?

There is a slight chance of bettering your chances. HDC gives preference to residents of New York’s various community boards for low income apartments in their district. Therefore, looking for an apartment in your neighborhood can help. They also give preference to applicants with hearing, mobility, or vision impairments as well as those who work for the city.

We hope we helped you get a better understanding of low income apartments for rent in NYC. As anything else here, this too is a difficult and highly competitive aspect of Big Apple’s everyday life. We wish you all the luck in the world in landing one of these apartments and hope you will soon need some short distance moving tips! In the meantime, we give you our usual advice. Do your research well, plan ahead and be ready to pounce on any opportunity. This is the combination for success in the jungle!