Quickly find answers on how to search for an affordable apartment, rental subsidies, and addressing issues that make it hard to find housing.
How do domestic violence survivors find housing?
This is the first of a series of videos to help visitors find quick answers to their questions.
Visit the Family Justice Centers for more information.
Can you help me find an apartment?
New Destiny’s website has a section on finding affordable housing. Most affordable housing is accessed through New York City’s housing lottery. You must register to be included. Click here to register and apply for affordable housing in New York City.
If you can’t access the internet, NYC Housing Ambassadorscan help you apply for affordable housing, but you would need to share information with them.
If you are at risk of entering shelter and are not able to find anything please contact a New York City HomeBase office. To find the nearest location call 311 or visit www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/homebase.page
How can I find housing if I have a criminal background, bad credit history and history with housing court (eviction)?
Having a criminal history, poor credit or poor rental history can make it more difficult to find an apartment. If at all possible, apartment seekers should try and correct any negative information in their backgrounds or document efforts they have made to improve their situations so a landlord reviewing their application for an apartment can be assured that the obstacles from the past will not impact their future. If you are a domestic violence victim, you can receive assistance at a New York City Family Justice Center to help with financial and legal barriers. Click here for a list of Family Justice Centers.
Click here for detailed information on obstacles and programs that may be able to help address barriers. Apartment seekers may also try and work with smaller landlords or search with local realty companies with whom they can establish a personal connection rather than a larger company who will screen them out automatically.
What should I do if my Section 8 voucher is expiring?
If your section 8 is scheduled to expire soon you must apply for an extension with the agency that granted you the voucher before the voucher expires so you will not lose the assistance. To request an extension with HPD you will need to complete this Request for Voucher Extension Form and return it to staff at 100 Gold Street. Tenants requesting extensions should be able to document their search for housing, any obstacles they have encountered, disabilities they have or other restrictions making the housing search more difficult. To request an extension with NYCHA visit the customer contact center. NYCHA limits voucher extensions to persons with disabilities who need an extension as a reasonable accommodation.
I am having problems with my shelter placement, can New Destiny help?
If you are experiencing problems with your shelter placement or the shelter staff please follow your shelter’s grievance procedure. For additional support you may reach out to the Coalition for the Homeless or Legal Aid’s Homeless Rights Project. Families in DHS shelter or at risk of entering DHS shelter may also reach out to the Ombudsman’s Office.
Can you help me with rental arrears?
New Destiny does not pay rental arrears. For a list of resources on paying rental arrears and information if you are at risk of eviction, see our Eviction Prevention page. For information on how to access financial assistance for rental arrears visit HRA’s Homelessness Prevention page and DHS’s Rent Issues page.
Can you send me a list of landlords who accept LINC/SEPS/FEPS etc.?
It is illegal for landlords who own 6 or more units of housing to refuse to rent someone just because they are paying rent with a rental assistance program. Because source of income discrimination isn’t legal, there isn’t a list of landlords who work with government programs because all are supposed to. For general housing search tips visit our Affordable Housing page.
If you are experiencing discrimination you should be aware of your rights and may wish to report any wrongdoing. For more information download this postcard from the Commission on Human Rights.
I am being evicted from my home. Can you help me?
If you are a tenant at risk of eviction see our Eviction Prevention page for a list of resources. If you are being evicted or are at risk of eviction you may be eligible to receive free legal assistance. For a list of eviction prevention providers, download this list from HRA.
NYC’s HomeBase program may have additional resources to assist you to remain in your home. For information about available eviction prevention programs, including HomeBase visit: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/dhs/prevention/prevention.page.
How does immigration status impact my eligibility for affordable housing?
Anti-discrimination laws prohibit discrimination based on national origin or citizenship status in New York City. It’s not immigration status that tends to be a barrier to securing housing but ability to verify that you can afford the housing. Families searching for housing that do not have status should make every effort to document their income so they can demonstrate to landlords that they can afford the rent.
Housing searches for people without permanent, legal immigration status are often most successful when vacancies are found via networking or other community ties. Local and ethnic press may have listings that others do not and sometimes, small owners may only advertise within certain communities because of their own language or cultural barriers. For additional tips see the Affordable Apartments:Search in the Neighborhood section our Affordable Apartments page.
For immigrants with mixed citizenship statuses in their families seeking public housing with NYCHA they may only receive partial assistance and may be asked to verify that they can afford to cover unsubsidized household members out of pocket in order to qualify. Read how families with mixed status are budgeted and how eligibility could be impacted.
Is it true that I have to leave my DV shelter and go to PATH if I cannot find housing by a certain date?
HRA Domestic Violence Emergency Shelter stays are limited by New York State regulation to a maximum of 180 days. If you cannot find housing at the end of your stay your shelter provider will work with you to safely transition to another option such as DHS shelter, a DV Tier II or someplace else you are able to identify that is safe. Please note that there is no statutory limit to length of stay in DV Tier II or DHS shelters. If you believe you are being unfairly discharged from shelter please follow your shelter’s grievance procedure. For additional support you may reach out to the Coalition for the Homeless or Legal Aid’s Homeless Rights Project.
Families in DHS shelter or at risk of entering DHS shelter may also reach out to the Ombudsman’s Office.
How can I transfer my housing assistance? What if my abuser is on my lease?
Victims of domestic violence may be entitled to transfer their housing assistance to a new unit or transfer from their public housing apartment if they are in danger and can document their risk. Other grounds for transfers may also exist such as poor housing conditions or substantial changes to family size or disability status. More information on your rights to a transfer.
In general, in order to transfer one’s housing assistance the abuser cannot be on the lease/voucher. In order for victims who live with their abusers to transfer their assistance they must first get the abuser excluded from their household. For residents of NYCHA public housing or section 8 apartments, that process is known as “bifurcation” where the assistance of the victim can be split from the abuser. Victims of intimate partner violence who need help with Public Housing transfers or bifurcation requests should contact Sanctuary for Families for assistance. Victims of other types of crime and abuse should reach out to Safe Horizon for support.
How can I apply for rental subsidies?
Access to most city rental subsidies are limited to people residing in the shelter system. If you have questions about your eligibility for any of the City’s rental assistance programs and you live in a shelter, reach out to your housing specialist or visit DHS’s Rental Assistance page.
If you are not residing in shelter and need assistance with the rent, DHS may be able to help. Visit DHS’s Rent Issues page for more information or contact your local HomeBase office. For a location near you call 311 or click here for Homebase office locations.