Posted on March 1, 2018
New Yorkers ‘lose hope’ while applying again and again for city’s affordable housing lottery
The difficulties in getting an apt. in the city’s affordable housing lottery system https://t.co/66nbolQ8hH
— Shirley Chan (@ShirleyChanTV) February 28, 2018
The city’s affordable housing lottery was set up to assist residents, but applying for the lottery takes time and patience. Brian Cahill Moledo is with CUFFH, a community based nonprofit that advocates for affordable housing and counsels those who apply. “Churches United for Fair Housing was started by a group of priests in Brooklyn who noticed every week more and more of their congregants were basically being priced out of neighborhoods,” Moledo said. He paints a grim picture of the application process for the lottery system. “It verges on impossible. All the studies done point to a divestment of communities of color and to procedural obstacles being put in place to deny people access to affordable housing,” Moledo said. “It demands that you make a certain amount of money. If you make too little, you can’t afford to live there. If you make too much, you don’t deserve to live there. If your credit is too low, then you can’t be trusted to make those rent payments. The current system is one I wouldn’t wish on anyone to go through.” Most would agree the application process takes persistence and patience. Competition is stiff and residents could spend years on a waiting list. “Years and years of applications, applications, applications filling in tens of pages at a time, you keep your spirits up by trying not to frame it as a one-time event or one-time effort. It’s more a lifestyle change. Even if you win the lottery the very first time, you’re still looking at a three to 10-month long process,” Moledo said.