The Market

Yes, you CAN apply to multiple affordable housing lotteries at the same time

By Leigh Kamping-Carder  | January 14, 2015 - 12:59PM

Last month, applications opened for affordable spots in East New York’s Gateway Elton II complex, with rentals going from $494 a month for a studio to $1,317 a month for a four-bedroom. The complex, which will have the state’s largest apartment rooftop solar panels, comes with parking, a bike room, a fitness center, free WiFi in the common areas, dishwashers, and a shared laundry room. So it’s understandable you’d want to apply by the February 19 deadline, provided your income meets certain limits

But what if you’ve also got your eye on other affordable developments around the city? Can you toss your name into more than one lottery at a time?

That question was on the mind of one BrickUnderground reader, who wanted to know whether her Gateway Elton II application would be disqualified if she applied to another building. “I ask because it seems each apartment complex runs its own lottery independently of the NYC online streamlined application,” she writes, referring to the NYC Housing Connect website. “Please help straighten out doubts.”

While every development has a different application and lottery, and it’s essential to follow the instructions to the letter since each one has unique income restrictions, it’s perfectly fine to file multiple applications at once. Indeed, HDC, the agency that sponsors the housing, advises renters to "submit an application to developments of your choice," emphasis added. And the Housing Connect website allows you to fill out a single form for multiple buildings.

The one thing that you don’t want to do--as this will disqualify you--is apply more than once to the same building, including submitting both paper and electronic applications. “If you apply online, then you may NOT submit a paper application to the same lottery," HDC advises. "If you apply via paper, then you may NOT submit an online application to the same lottery.”


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