Young singles are the big winners in NYC’s affordable housing lottery: report

And developers are a key reason why

TRD New York /
Nov.November 16, 2016 12:30 PM

The city’s affordable housing lottery between 2013 and 2015 was more likely to be won by young singles, according to data released by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. And many of those young whippersnappers have developers to thank.

More than half of the 48 housing lotteries for 1,470 available units across the city between January 2013 through to the end of 2015 were one-bedrooms and studios. Just over 40 percent of the winners in those lotteries were people aged 25 to 34, and half of those people were single, DNAinfo reported. The news website found that only 4 percent of the winners were over 62 years old. Just 11 percent were under the age of 25.

According to the website, the city would not release the total number of applicants it received for the housing lotteries. However, the data showed the immense demand. In 2015, for example, 200,000 people applied for 14 apartments in Bushwick.

A spokesperson for HPD told DNAinfo that in some cases eligibility requirements are determined by landlords. Developers have the right to set what credits score minimums they will allow for a tenant.

Sarah Desmond, the executive director of advocacy group Housing Conservation Coordinators, told the website that the lottery doesn’t have enough family-sized apartments.

“We see a disproportionate number of studios and one-bedrooms because that is the market for the luxury buildings in Hell’s Kitchen,” she said.

In July, the city said that nearly 53,000 low-income apartments have been preserved or created since Bill de Blasio became mayor.  There have been challenges in ramping up affordable developments, as some local official and community groups oppose projects claiming it will spur gentrification and displacement. [DNAinfo]Miriam Hall  


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