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Everything you need to know about affordable housing in New York City

What you need to know about applying, getting in and staying put.
Brad Clinesmith/Flickr

6sqft

Affordable housingis one of the hottest topics in the real estate market these days. It all started withMayor de Blasio’s planto preserve or build 200,000 affordable units over the next ten years, which has resulted in aslew of new lotteriesfor below-market rate apartments, putting his goalahead of schedule. And let’s not forgetthe expiration of the controversial421-a tax abatement, whichprovides incentives to developers when they reserve at least 20 percent of a building’s units for low- and moderate-income tenants. Butdespite the buzz-worthy roll affordable housing has been on, many are still left wondering what exactly it is.

Is there a difference betweenaffordablehousing and low-income housing?

Yes, there’s a difference between affordable housing andNYCHAhousing. The latter operates public housing projects that are reserved for low-income persons (you can see the specific eligibility requirementshere).NYCHA developmentsare built with federal, state, or city funds and are exempt from certain local laws. The national Section 8 program, which allows tenants to put 30percentof their income toward rent in privately-owned buildings with the federal program subsidizingthe difference, also falls under NYCHA.

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