NYCHA Public Housing
HousingLink Resource Center:
- NYCHA applicants must meet one of NYCHA’s working or needs-based priorities to apply for Public Housing.
- Victims of domestic violence (VDV) are among the groups considered emergency priorities for Public Housing and therefore have much shorter waiting periods than non-emergency applicants.
- VDV applicants must meet NYCHA’s documentation criteria to be certified as a victim of domestic violence for Public Housing.
- Applicants must be 18 or older and earning some source of income (employment, PA, SSI) that falls under NYCHA’s income limits.
- Once in public housing, households pay 30% of their income or their Public Assistance shelter allowance towards rent.
- There is no time limit for how long a household may remain in Public Housing if they remain a good tenant.
NOTE: Victims of domestic violence who do not meet the criteria for the VDV priority may apply for Public Housing through one of NYCHA’s non-emergency priorities. Homeless families and singles are no longer considered an emergency priority. Obtaining housing through a non-emergency priority may take several years.
NYCHA Public Housing residents pay 30% of their income or their Public Assistance shelter allowance towards rent. If a family’s income rises above NYCHA's income limits during their tenancy, the household can stay in NYCHA housing but will pay the full NYCHA rent. However, the full rent will not exceed NYCHA’s flat rents, which are below-market rate levels. The flat rent schedule can be found in NYCHA's annual plan.
- Age: The head of household must be 18 or older to live in Public Housing
- Income: Households must be receiving some source of income (i.e. employment, public assistance, or SSI) that does not exceed NYCHA’s income limits.
- Priority Documentation: Applicants must meet one of NYCHA’s working or needs-based priorities. In order to receive priority certification as a victim of domestic violence (VDV), applicants must meet NYCHA’s VDV documentation criteria. (BREAKING NEWS: NYCHA has expanded its list of "single incident" offenses and updated procedures relating to victims of domestic violence residing in HRA DV shelters. Please refer to NYCHA's new guidelines here)
NYCHA's website. Public Housing applications should include priority documentation and must be completed carefully. For a complete guide to applying for Public Housing click here.
If you are applying for public housing under the victim of domestic violence priority, you will be asked to choose two boroughs on your application, but generally only your first choice is considered. NYCHA uses an excluded zip code list to determine what zip codes are unsafe for domestic violence applicants based on the zip codes in which any domestic violence incidents occurred. VDV applicants should not choose boroughs where they may have many excluded zip codes. Before selecting a borough, applicants may also wish to see how long the relative wait time is for an apartment in each borough. NYCHA publishes a list tallying the number of certified N0 and N1 applications by apartment size and borough showing how long the wait is to help guide decisions on borough choice. The list can be found here and is updated quarterly.
NOTE: Applicants choosing Manhattan or Queens can expect to wait much longer for a Public Housing placement than those selecting Brooklyn, the Bronx, or Staten Island.
To check the status of an application after filing, applicants can use NYCHA's "Self-Service Portal" online. The portal allows people to see their priority code, interview dates and waitlist status. You may also check your application status by phone. Applicants with DV priority status should track their applications by calling the Customer Contact Center at (718) 707-7771; applicants will be asked for their DV PIN number to verify their identity to receive information on their applications.
- Application Ineligibility: The main eligibility obstacles for Public Housing applicants are: immigration status, criminal background, and rental arrears/eviction from a previous NYCHA or Section 8 apartment. Click here for more information on how to overcome these obstacles.
- For information on how to appeal decisions of ineligibility click here.
- NYCHA Transfers: Click here if you need to information about transferring out of your Public Housing apartment.