Getting Placed in Public Housing and Section 8

Public Housing

NYCHA applications are assigned a priority code based upon the information provided, and placed on the Housing Authority’s preliminary waiting list for an eligibility interview.

You should receive an acknowledgement letter from NYCHA within 30 days of receiving your application. Your application will be good for two years from the day it is received. If you are not scheduled for an eligibility interview during those two years, you must file a new application at least 30 days before the expiration date to keep your place on the waiting list.

The borough you choose is a significant factor in determining how soon you are scheduled for an interview. For instance, there are currently longer wait lists in Manhattan and Queens, so choosing one of those boroughs as your first choice may result in it taking longer to be called for an interview. Due to low turnover and the Authority’s Preference System, it is impossible to predict the length of time an applicant might be on the waiting list before being reached for an apartment offer.

All applicants scheduled for an interview are asked to come into one of the NYCHA offices. Applicants with a mobility impairment or disability that would make it a hardship to appear in person can request a telephone interview by calling (718) 707-7771. Bi-lingual staff should also be available to meet the various language needs of applicants.

At the eligibility interview the applicant’s household size, family composition, housing priority, total family income and citizenship/immigration status are determined. If the family is income eligible and all the requested documentation is received, their application is sent to the unit responsible for contacting current and/or past landlords.

Depending on the housing priority and family size, an applicant may be offered the option to select either a specific development from developments with insufficient applications for the expected number of vacancies, or to be placed on a borough-wide waiting list. Emergency applicants, which include victims of domestic violence and intimidated witnesses, and all families requiring five bedrooms or more, are only entitled to a borough choice.

All other applicants are permitted to select a development. NYCHA determines final eligibility when a suitable apartment becomes available. At that time, NYCHA will perform a Criminal Background Check for all household members who are 16 years or older. If everyone passes the background check, NYCHA will offer the apartment.

Section 8

At present NYCHA is not accepting Section 8 applications. In December of 2009 NYCHA stopped accepting applications for all priorities due to insufficient funding. It is not clear at this time when the waiting list may eventually re-open.

If you have additional questions or need further assistance regarding Public Housing or Section 8, please come into our Crisis Intervention Program to speak with an advocate.