Housing Connect (Housing Lottery)

NYC Housing Connect 2.0 launched on July 1, 2020 as a new online portal to search for and apply to affordable housing in New York City. Commonly referred to as the housing lottery, potential tenants are selected at random. Applying and qualifying for housing does not guarantee a unit.

If you had an account on the old Housing Connect portal, you still need to create an account on the new website.

To apply:

  • Register at NYC Housing Connect 2.0. You will need to provide a valid e-mail address and basic contact information. Only one account per household may be created and the information can be updated at any time.
  • Enter your household information, including employment and income information for you and all household members (please note that if you have a government provided rental voucher, you may apply for all developments on the portal and will qualify as long as you fit within the income guidelines). Click here to read more about income requirements in the NYC Housing Connect Applying for Affordable Housing: Applicant Income Guide
  • Enter any other information asked related to your current landlord (if any), reason for moving, and assets (if any)
  • Visit Housing Connect’s new LEARN section to watch video tutorials about using the website and read more about how the process works in the ABOUT section.
  • Keep your profile up-to-date, especially regarding income and household composition! An important feature of the new portal is that changes you make to your profile will update any pending applications.

For more information and a list of current housing opportunities please click here. For  questions regarding how COVID-19 has impacted affordable housing eligibility and lottery selection, as well as more general applicant guides, visit this page.

For low income, victims of domestic violence there are special guidelines:
  • Income eligibility guidelines:
    • Mandatory employment history for self-employment and freelance income is not required
    • Examples of income calculations are accepted
    • Increased allowances for change in household composition or income between application submission and processing
  • Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
    HPD requires the following protocol if you identify as a victim of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault or stalking:

    • VAWA Notice of Rights must be included as part of all decision notices; this includes, appointment/eligibility notice, ineligibility notice, approval notice, rejection notice or low priority notice.
    • You have 14 days to appeal a rejection under this notice
Credit Criteria for General Applicants

You may not be rejected solely because of your credit score, your score may only be used as an indicator of financial stability. You may be accepted with a FICO credit score of 580 without further review of financial stability.

If your score is below 580, you may not be rejected unless you fail to meet other factors associated to eviction/landlord-tenant action and other credit findings. Other factors used instead of a credit score may include:

  • Eviction/Landlord-Tenant Action – You may be rejected for a prior eviction (with cause) within the last two years. If you are a homeless shelter client, you may be rejected for multiple evictions within the last two years.
  • You may be rejected for the following credit findings:
    • Bankruptcy filed within the last 12 months
    • Delinquencies, Collections, and Money Judgments. You may be rejected if you have an open or unsatisfied delinquencies, collections and money judgments that are more than $5,000 in total. This may include money judgments, and any accounts on the credit report that are over 120 delinquent or have been transferred to collections agency. Student loans and medical debt is not included in this total.

Positive Rental History – This is a secondary check conducted if you do not meet the credit or housing criteria mentioned above. You can provide (if you must appeal), evidence of a positive rental history that shows consistent and complete and on time rental payments for the previous 12 months. You can submit the following:

  • Canceled checks
  • Rent receipts
  • A landlord’s written record of rent payment
  • Other evidence (may be subject to agency’s approval)

Credit Criteria for Homeless Shelter Clients
Same criterias as above, with the following exceptions:

  • If you have a credit score below 580, you may be accepted without further review of your financial stability.
  • Credit scores may be disregarded completely

Prohibited Information – The following information may not be used to determine applicant selection:

  • Debt to income ratios
  • Lack of credit history or rental history
  • Guarantors or co-signers
  • Home visits, photos/videos, or other representations of the applicant’s living situation
  • Personal references
  • Outreach to current or previous landlords, neighbors or others associated with the your living situation

Click here to see more information on the new marketing guidelines.