Affordable Housing

General Information and Legal Help for Tenants and Homeowners

Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University
A directory of New York City affordable housing programs is provided.  There is also an interactive map available at: http://datasearch.furmancenter.org/
and a tutorial at:
www.furmancenter.org/data/search

Housing Court Answers (HCA)   
HCA is a service of the Citywide Task Force on Housing Court.  HCA is a reliable resource for information about housing issues, and helps people navigate the complex world of Housing Court and NYC's tangle of housing laws and regulations.  It provides information and hotline services about housing law, rent arrears assistance, homeless prevention guidance, and conducts training for community groups, unions, and elected officials.    

Law Help in NY State   
Find information on free legal aid in New York; learn about legal rights, courts, and other housing issues.  Information is available in over 36 languages.

Legal Aid Society-Housing Help
The Legal Aid Society's Civil Practice Program works to improve the lives of low-income New Yorkers by helping vulnerable families and individuals to obtain and maintain the basic necessities of life - housing, health care, food and subsistence income or self-sufficiency as well as enhancing family and community stability and security by resolving a full range of legal problems, including domestic violence, family law, immigration, employment, and consumer law issues.

Legal Clinic for Tenants
245 West 104th St.
(212) 866- 3970
Call for dates and times.

At the office of Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell, serving New York’s 69th Assembly District (Manhattan Valley, Morningside Heights, Upper West Side and West Harlem), a free legal clinic for tenants is offered once a month. 

To receive electronic newsletters, send an email to mailto:odonnelld@assembly.state.ny.us

Metropolitan Council on Housing
Non-profit organization which advocates for affordable housing and provides information on a variety of tenant issues.

Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc.
Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City (NHS) serves the New York metropolitan area.  Through financial empowerment and affordable lending, and a first-time homebuyer program, NHS enables individuals and families to invest in, preserve and improve their neighborhoods, their homes and their future. In addition to providing services throughout New York City, NHS is a community-based organization with targeted impact in the following neighborhoods: Bedford-Stuyvesant, East Flatbush, North Bronx, Northern Queens, South Bronx and Staten Island.  NHS is a national network of over 230 community-based organizations in all 50 states.

New York City Affordable Housing Resource Center

The New York City Affordable Housing Resource Center website provides information on all aspects of New York City housing, including renting an apartment, buying a home, and apartment maintenance issues.  Through this site, you will also find all of New York City's affordable housing lottery listings. 

New York City Bar
The New York City Bar provides a legal referral service. Call 212-626-7373, or obtain a referral online. The Legal Hotline - offers legal information, advice and referrals to low-income New Yorkers who cannot afford a private attorney or do not have access to legal representation. The Hotline assists nearly 1,000 callers a month on a range of civil legal issues, including matrimonial and family law, housing law, domestic violence, bankruptcy, and debt collection and benefits. The service is bilingual, in English and Spanish, and can handle calls in any language through interpreting services. Call Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at 212.626.7383.

New York City – HomeBase Program to Prevent Homelessness
HomeBase is a homelessness prevention program administered by Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) in high-need neighborhoods. The CBOs provide casework services and also help individuals and families locate existing community-based resources such as job training, child care, and anti-eviction legal services. Call your nearest HomeBase location to find out how they can help you.

New York City Housing Development Corporation
HDC seeks to increase the supply of multi-family housing, stimulate economic growth and revitalize neighborhoods by financing the creation and preservation of affordable housing for low- , moderate- , and middle-income New Yorkers. Lists of affordable apartments for rent or sale are available on their website.                                                                                                                
New York City Civil Court - Housing 
This web site provides information about Housing Court in New York City.
A document written in 2006 by two judges on the Court "How to Prepare for a Landlord-Tenant Trial", is of particular interest.

Additionally, another guide written jointly by the New York City Bar Association and the New York City Civil Court might be useful: http://www.nycbar.org/pdf/report/tenantsguide.pdf 

New York City Commission on Human Rights

The New York City Human Rights Law is one of the most comprehensive civil rights laws in the nation.  The law prohibits discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations based on race, color, creed, age, national origin, alien, age or citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, and partnership status.  A human rights complaint may be filed with the Law Enforcement Bureau of the City’s Commission on Human Rights, located at 40 Rector Street, 9th Floor, in lower Manhattan or any of their Community Service Centers. The law requires that the complaint be filed within one year of the last alleged act of discrimination.

New York City - Community Board
In order to find out if affordable housing is planned for a community, contact the locat Community Board.  Wtihin the Community Board, the Housing and Land Use Committee will have knowledge of any future plans.  In order to find a Community Board, first click on the boroug, and the boards are divided by neighborhood and area.

New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the largest municipal developer of affordable housing in the nation. Over the past few years, HPD and the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), in partnership with other key organizations, have created or preserved nearly 100,000 units of affordable housing.

On HPD’s web site there are resources and information for developers, homebuyers, homeowners, housing education courses, residential building owners, residential tenants, apartment lotteries (both to rent and buy), Section 8, and Mitchell-Lama.

Also, there is the ability to sign-up for HPD email updates.

  • Home First Down Payment Assistance Program: Many New Yorkers want to buy a home but don't have enough money saved for their down payment and closing costs. The Home First Down Payment Assistance Program provides qualified homebuyers with up to 6% of a home's purchase price toward the down payment or closing costs on a 1-4 family home, a condominium, or a cooperative in one of the five boroughs of New York City.  Check the web site for qualification requirements.
  • Middle Income Housing Development for Families & Senior Citizens (Mitchell-Lama): The Mitchell-Lama program was enacted by the State in the mid-1950’s as a way to promote and facilitate the construction of affordable rental and cooperative housing throughout New York State.  The law stated that after twenty years from the occupancy date, the mortgagor is allowed to prepay its mortgage releasing the obligation of staying in the affordable housing program and giving owners the right to raise rents to market value.  HDC created this preservation program as a means to encourage owners to keep their properties within the Mitchell-Lama guidelines.  Each Mitchell-Lama development requires you to send a letter and application to the managing agent.  Most buildings have waiting lists and often the lists are closed, but occasionally one opens up.  Waiting lists are typically chronological, though occasionally veterans and people with disabilities get priority.  
  • NYC Housing Connect:  The NYC Housing Connect website lists projects currently accepting tenants and purchasers for the apartment lotteries and 80/20 programs.  The deadlines and income caps are listed, which change with each project, as well as an on-line form to submit.  The process can take anywhere from two to ten months before you hear back.  If you're rejected, the site will let you know how to appeal or redirect you to other developments. 
New York City Housing Authority   

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) provides decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low and moderate-income residents throughout the five boroughs.  NYCHA also administers a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments.  Simultaneously, they work to enhance the quality of life at NYCHA by offering their residents opportunities to participate in a multitude of community, educational and recreational programs, as well as job readiness and training initiatives.  Typically rent is based on 30% of the family’s adjusted gross income.

Contact:
Manhattan/ Queens Applications Office
55 West 125th Street, 7th Floor, 212-828-7100
Brooklyn / Staten Island Applications Office
350 Livingston Street, 2nd Floor, 718- 250-5900
Bronx  Applications Office
1 Fordham Plaza, 5th Floor, 718-329-7859

New York City Housing Development Corporation – Low-income Affordable Marketplace Program (LAMP)   
This program provides financing for affordable rental housing reserved for people earning a maximum pre-determined income.  Apartments created through this program are rented out at affordable rents because of the low-cost financing offered through HDC.

New York City Rent Guidelines Board    
NYCRGB is mandated to establish rent adjustments for the approximately one million dwelling units subject to the Rent Stabilization Law in New York City. The Board holds an annual series of public meetings and hearings to consider research from staff, and testimony from owners, tenants, advocacy groups and industry experts.  

The site provides information on the housing market including resources for finding apartments, market data, landlord/tenant issues, rights and advice, question and answer forum, and guidelines for rent-stabilized apartments.

New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal
The Division of Housing and Community renewal in New York State is responsible for the supervision, maintenance and development of affordable low- and moderate-income housing in New York State. The Division performs a number of activities in fulfillment of this mission, including community development, housing operations, rent administration (including information about rent-control and rent-stabilization), and policy research and development for the state.  Besides links to various forms and web sites, there is an Affordable Housing Directory, which can access locations of affordable housing by area (i.e. Manhattan).

New York State Tenant Rights and Responsibilities
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has information about tenant rights, laws and protections.  The information is accessible by state.  There is a Tenants’ Rights Guide, as well as a section on landlord law.  Another part of the site also provides resources and information on homeownership, with links to housing counseling agencies, education about homeownership, predatory lending, home-buying assistance programs, HUD homes for sale, homeownership vouchers, as well as various other resources.

The State of New York Mortgage Agency

The State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) provides safe, low interest fixed-rate mortgages, down payment assistance and other programs specifically designed to help low- and moderate-income families become homeowners.  There are several different programs which enable first-time homebuyers, military veterans, and low-income families to purchase homes.

P.A.’L.A.A.N.T.E. Harlem
People Against Landlord Abuse and Tenant Exploitation

PA'LANTE Harlem assists residents living in rent stabilized and Federally subsidized buildings one-on-one and in small groups. They provide technical assistance, training and legal services, and connect residents to the government and nonprofit resources that enable them to remain in their homes, hold negligent landlords accountable for critical safety violations and ensure that the buildings in their neighborhood are safe, habitable homes. Their three core programs are: Tenant Organizing and Leadership Development; Mediation, Legal Services and Referrals; and PA'LANTE Kids: Stand & Deliver.

Tenant Net

Tenant Net provides information on tenant issues, legal information and advice, as well as links to tenant organizations and government agencies.

Tenants’ Rights Guide
This guide is published by the New York State Attorney General and provides information on types of housing, leases, rent payments, lease succession or termination, habitability and repairs, safety, utility services, tenants’ personal protections, finding an apartment, and other resources.

The Legal Hotline  

This service offers legal information, advice and referrals to low-income New Yorkers who cannot afford a private attorney or do not have access to legal representation. The Hotline assists nearly 1,000 callers a month on a range of civil legal issues, including matrimonial and family law, housing law, domestic violence, bankruptcy, and debt collection and benefits. The service is bilingual, in English and Spanish, and can handle calls in any language through interpreting services. Call Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm and on Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at 212.626.7383.

UHAB/Urban Homesteading Assistance Board
UHAB provides home ownership information as well as information and listings on existing and newly-converted cooperative HDFC buildings.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
FHA loans have been helping people become homeowners since 1934. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) – which is part of HUD – insures loans, so your lender can offer you a better deal and therefore have low down payments, low closing costs, and easy credit qualifying.  Your down payment can be as low as 3.5% of the purchase price, and most of your closing costs and fees can be included in the loan.  Usually only available on 1-4 unit properties, and the property must be FHA-approved.  Some condominiums are approved and can be searched on this webpage

  • HUD provides a searchable, on-line database for affordable housing. 
  • HUD-subsidized Multifamily Housing Programs
  • HUD's Single Family programs include mortgage insurance on loans to purchase new or existing homes, condominiums, manufactured housing, houses needing rehabilitation, and for reverse equity mortgages to elderly homeowners.  
  • HUD's Multifamily programs provide mortgage insurance to HUD-approved lenders to facilitate the construction, substantial rehabilitation, purchase and refinancing of multifamily housing projects and healthcare facilities.
  • HUD’s Regulatory programs are designed to assist homeowners, homebuyers, and regulate real estate transactions.