How to Apply For Affordable Housing

How to Apply For Affordable Housing
187 Kent Ave, rendering via CW Realty

After our last post on Brooklyn’s “affordable” housing lotteries, we received numerous comments and emails asking for help and more information on how to apply. We’ve put together this explainer and list of resources, in the hopes that it will clear things up and make this process easier and less stressful.

How to Apply Online

First, you’ll need to make an account with NYC Housing Connect, which you can do here.

Once your account is set up, you’ll be able to click on “Apply for Housing” on the homepage. Here, you can search by neighborhood, application due date, and other parameters to suit your needs.

Once you find an apartment that suits you, go ahead and click “apply”.

Once you click “apply” you’ll be required to enter a lot of information on yourself and your household members. Most of this is pretty self-explanatory, but if you need help, you can visit the FAQ section.

This video provides a clear and simple explanation of the process as well:

Here you can find information about eligibility and the process should you be approved.

Here is a checklist for after you’ve applied on what documents you need to get ready to prove your eligibility and where and how to get them.

How to Apply Via Mail

You’ll need to send a self-addressed envelope to the address found at the bottom of the filer for your chosen apartment.

For example, for this apartment, the address is 187 Kent Avenue Apartments, C/O Reside New York 381 South 5th Street, Brooklyn NY 11211.


  • Only submit one application per household— submitting more than one will result in disqualification from the lottery. 
  • There are no broker’s fees or application fees for affordable housing – you NEVER have to pay to apply. 
  • You won’t know if you’ve been rejected, as they only contact those who have been selected. Even if approved, it may take between two to 10 months after the deadline to hear back.
  • You have a better chance if you:
    •  have a mobility, hearing, and/or vision disability
    • currently live in the same Community Board District as the apartment you are applying for (you can check at this link)
    • work for the City of New York
    • and finally – applicants who live in New York City receive a general preference over non-city residents. 
  • Do not apply both online and through mail, choose only one method. 

If you have tips for your neighbors or need more clarification on certain parts of the process, leave a comment here or send us an email.