Quest for affordable housing to go online

Applying for an apartment in a new affordable-housing development in New York City will soon start to get a little bit easier. The city announced Tuesday the launch of a new website that allows New Yorkers to apply online for affordable housing apartments. The site, dubbed NYC Housing Connect, will go into its pilot phase this summer. In the fall, the city expects to have all newly constructed or rehabilitated affordable-housing complexes financed by the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the city’s Housing Development Corp. to be posted on the site. Currently, New Yorkers have to visit each of the city agencies’ websites separately to view affordable housing opportunities. The city requires that affordable-housing apartments subsidized by the city be rented through an open lottery system to guarantee fairness and equality. Roughly two months before lotteries take place, ads are placed in local newspapers, on city websites and elsewhere to let the public know of affordable-housing opportunities. Applicants must meet strict income requirements and other criteria to be eligible for an affordable-housing unit. The new site will allow an individual to fill out one online application for multiple buildings.  Applications are expected to mushroom from the current 160,000 total.

Crain’s New York

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