October 8, 2016
By Neal Tepel
New York, NY – New York City now has a series of new affordable housing lottery rules designed to ensure that City-assisted affordable housing reaches the New Yorkers who need it most.
Importantly changes to the policies include ending developers and leasing agents’ ability to deny applications based solely on credit scores. There are new standards for homeless shelter referrals in the revised procedures. Also addressed are landlords ability to deny an applicant an apartment.
“Every New Yorker deserves equal access to an affordable home, including veterans, the elderly and homeless individuals and families,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Disqualifications based solely on credit history, or because a tenant fought for his or her rights in housing court, have no place in our affordable housing programs. These key improvements to the rules level the playing field and give every household the chance to find a home within their means.”
All New Yorkers, regardless of their source of income, deserve equal access to safe, affordable housing. With nearly 53,000 affordable homes financed under the plan to date, the new policies and procedures should help to ensure that those new homes reach the New Yorkers they were designed to serve. By standardizing all selection criteria, the new guidelines ensure that households who have the ability to pay rent are not rejected solely on the basis of a low credit score, or solely because a tenant appeared in housing court.The policies also promote greater language accessibility at all stages of the application process, require consistency in how developers and marketing agents communicate with applicants and increase the transparency of the appeal process
"Under Housing New York, we are working not only to build and preserve housing for rent-burdened New Yorkers, but also to ensure that our housing is allocated fairly and efficiently. Through our new marketing policies and procedures, we’ve standardized the criteria developers can use to evaluate applicants, restricted the use of credit scores and housing court history to determine eligibility and limited personal assets, all to ensure that the affordable homes we build and preserve serve the New Yorkers who need them most,” said Vicki Been, Commissioner of HPD and Chair of the Board for HDC.