Immigrants And Refugees

A New Lottery System for Affordable Housing in New York City

Second Farms, affordable housing opening in July 2020

There’s a new housing lottery in New York City. Well, not a new lottery exactly, but a new portal from NYC.GOV where you can register and get into the lottery, giving you the ability to search by neighborhood, rent, amenities, size, etc.

The new portal is and if you are interested in being in the lottery for affordable housing in New York City, that is the place to go to register and get into the drawings. And like Monica Morales of Pix11 says, “you’ve gotta be in it to win it”.

I learned about this new portal by watching a Facebook Live discussion run by Ms. Morales, as featured guests Emily Osgood of the NYC Housing Preservation and Development office, and Jim McSpiritt, the CEO of Archdiocesan Housing for Catholic Charities. Here are some things I learned.

  • The new Housing Connect System can be found at .
  • Visit the Housing Connect System and register as a user. Then you will be able to enter the lottery.
  • While affordable housing is still highly sought after (traditionally, each unit that becomes available has approximately 600 people apply for it), one of the greatest risks property developers are concerned about are properties not being gainfully occupied.
  • The new Housing Connect portal is easier to use than the previous portal and includes both rental and properties for ownership, so there are more opportunities than ever before.
  • Existing lotteries started prior to July 1, 2020, will remain open and can be found at
  • It is important that users keep their profiles up to date. It can affect eligibility.

Among the housing that will become available for lottery applications as of July 1st is Catholic Charities of New York’s own Second Farms, a 319 unit residence in the West Farms neighborhood in the Bronx.

Second Farms is an excellent example of how Catholic Charities and Archdiocesan Housing are reading the need for affordable housing in NYC and responding to it. Housing insecurity is one of the biggest issues Catholic Charities responds to and the need for stable affordable housing is on the minds of most New Yorkers. Living in NYC is expensive. But it doesn’t have to be – not for everyone.

So if you visit the new Housing Connect System you will be able to set up an account, register for and enter the affordable housing lottery, and with this new system, you will be able to select properties that fit your needs. Second Farms will be among those choices, and because no properties stay available for long, sign up NOW, and enter the chance on winning a spot in some of New York City’s affordable residential units.

“The housing is there,” says Jim McSpiritt, “We’re working with the City to make it available, and we’re really excited about this new program.” Sounds like there’s good reason for excitement.