No doubt many New Yorkers have entered affordable housing lotteries run by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (DHPD) with dreams of landing an affordable pad. But, given the high number of applicants compared to the short supply of available affordable housing units, chances of “winning” one of the lotteries is generally not in your favor. However, you do stand a much better shot if you’re single and between the ages of 25 and 34, according to data obtained from the DHPD by DNAInfo under the Freedom of Information Law.
Between the beginning of 2013 and the end of 2015, more than half of the 48 separate housing lotteries ran for one of 1,470 units located in all five boroughs consisted of one-bedrooms and studios. The DHPD did not release the total number of applicants it received, but only a very small percentage of the hundreds of thousands of applicants would actually win. Consider that back in 2015, there were nearly 185,000 applicants for just 14 affordable housing units in Bushwick.
The winners of housing lotteries between 2013 and 2015 were younger, working professionals, says the data. Nearly 41 percent of lottery winners between 2013 and 2015 were between the ages of 25 and 34. However, only 4 percent were 62 years old or over.
Additionally, 48 percent of affordable housing lottery winners were single.
The majority of lottery winners were black or Hispanic, at 27 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Caucasians made up just under 11 percent of lottery winners while 6 percent were Asian. A little over 13 percent did not specify their ethnicity.
Income-wise, just over 87 percent of lottery winners reported “low” or less income. Only 1.2 percent reported “above middle income.”
Since the application process required online registration through Housing Connect, it is possible less tech-savvy applicants might be left out of the process entirely, DNAInfo reports.
“If there is a higher proportion of young singles in the applicant pool, it’s likely because they have more access to the information and to the Housing Connect website. This speaks to a need for greater outreach,” the executive director of Housing Conservation Coordinators in New York City Sarah Desmond told DNAInfo.
Many affordable units are targeted to single professionals, or at least they seem to be, especially on Manhattan’s west side, Desmond added.
“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.