Finding housing in New York City’s boroughs can be arduous and difficult at best, but finding affordable housing can mostly be left to luck. However, with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to create and build over 200,000 affordable units within the next ten years New Yorkers will have access to $563 monthly studios and $770 one bedrooms in desirable and trendy areas like Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Central Harlem. Anyone who qualifies under the median income requirements can simply enter through the New York Housing Lottery.
As of February 8th, 6sqft reported the opening of the application portal for NYC’s shortest skyscraper in Midtown West. Rents will range from $566/month for a studio or $930/ month two bedroom units. Applicants should be mindful of annual income when applying as the lottery has specific income requirements ranging from $20,743–$43,150. Also to be forewarned, the application process is pretty comprehensive and you should be prepared, if chosen, to compile originals of passport, social security cards, three years of income tax returns, internet service bills and verification of income for the last six months.
Due to a rise in building development, renters are likely to have more options in Brooklyn. In October of 2015. “The Real Deal” detailed Brooklyn’s construction plans including over 600 planned projects in residential development. Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg and Greenpoint will experience the most amount of new development with 13,700 new units of the 22,000 planned. Additionally in 2016 Boerum Hill and Downtown Brooklyn are up 5,000 units (compared to 2015’s 2700 units).
However, competition is fierce for all housing in Brooklyn, much less those slotted for De Blasio’s lottery. According to the New York Times,”... a new building in Greenpoint, Brooklyn drew 58,832 applicants for 105 affordable units.”
De Blasio’s plan faces criticism due to it’s accessibility for middle income earners, while low income applicants probably don’t qualify. According to Moses Gates of the Association for Housing and Neighborhood Development, “People of modest means need housing a lot more desperately than middle income folks.”
Nevertheless, winners of the housing lottery seem to have no complaints with their results. The buildings are desirable for a reason: for example, for $563/month for a studio at 169 Kent St in Williamsburg the amenities include a live-in super, laundry rooms, entertainment lounge, fitness room, community terrace, and rooftop lounge. The building is only a short walk away from the East River State Park. At Harlem’s Sugar Hill Development winners report saying "It's like winning the Mega Millions," said doorman Johan Lugo, who is moving in with his wife and two kids.”