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 ceiling rents, which are below-market rate levels.
- 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. (NOTE: Certification as a victim of domestic violence is unrelated to domestic violence shelter residency.)
local borough offices, requested by phone or online or (for those applicants who are not applying under domestic violence priority and therefore do not need to attach supporting documentation) applications may be completed online. For instructions on how to obtain a NYCHA Public Housing application and for a link to the online application, visit NYCHA's website.
Public Housing applications should include priority documentation and must be completed carefully. Applications that are filled out incorrectly (blank spaces, failure to provide a social security number or check the box stating the applicant does not have a social security number, checking off multiple boroughs where you are asked to indicate only your first and second choice borough) will not be processed. Applicants have 30 days from the initial application date to submit all of the necessary documents. 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.
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. For safety reasons, the portal does not provide information on domestic violence priority applications. 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.