HPD AND HDC ANNOUNCE THAT AFFORDABLE HOUSING LOTTERIES ARE NOW AVAILABLE IN SEVEN LANGUAGES

In addition to English, NYC Housing Connect website now serves Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, and Spanish speakers throughout the application process thanks to financial support from Citi

Furthermore, and for the first time, New Yorkers can now also apply online for
lotteries for waiting lists for Mitchell-Lama developments

New York, NY – February 18, 2016 – (RealEstateRama) — The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Gary Rodney announce new updates to the City’s electronic housing lottery application website, NYC Housing Connect. Applicants now have the ability to access the Housing Connect system and each housing lottery in seven languages, including English. This update is the most recent change made by the de Blasio Administration to promote equal access to information for all New Yorkers.

“New York City is a multicultural city, whose residents speak a wide variety of languages. It is only right that our residents whose primary language is not English have access to our amazing affordable housing,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “I am thrilled to announce the new language accessibility of Housing Connect. Each New Yorker should feel confident when interacting with our city government, and well informed when seeking affordable housing opportunities. I am delighted that we have made the application process accessible to more New Yorkers. ”

“It is critical that all New Yorkers have access to the affordable housing opportunities we are providing through the Mayor’s Housing New York plan,” saidGary Rodney President of HDC.  “Expanding Housing Connect to six more languages ensures a wider range of New Yorkers can apply for our housing lotteries and have a chance at securing a quality, affordable home.  We will continue to do everything we can to make the process easier and more accessible for those who need it most.”

In addition to new language accessibility, applicants can now apply electronically to lotteries for Mitchell-Lama developments when they open their waiting lists.  NYC Mitchell-Lama Connect is a new online application system available through the NYC Housing Connect website.

Building on the administration’s commitment to expanding language access, the NYC Housing Connect website has been translated into Arabic, Simplified Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, and Spanish. Each existing housing lottery advertisement and all upcoming lotteries are also available in each of the above listed languages. Translations were funded by Citi Community Development.

“According to the U.S. Census, more than half of all New Yorkers speak a language other than English at home,” said Eileen Auld, New York/Tri-State Market Director for Citi Community Development. “Increasing the number of languages supported by this important online tool will greatly expand access to affordable housing for NYC residents and help build a more inclusive city.”

“MHANY is pleased that the City is now providing lottery applications and information in six languages.  This will increase access to affordable housing options for individuals and families whose first language may not be English and will hopefully result in the building of ethnically and racially diverse communities,” said Ismene Speliotis, Executive Director, Mutual Housing Association of NY (MHANY).

“New York has always been a city of immigrants, and, in neighborhoods like ours, language is a real barrier to accessing city services and other resources people need to get by, especially if they’re struggling economically.  Making the Housing Connect website language-accessible is extremely important to so many of the people who stand to benefit most from the services that HPD provides,” said Damaris Reyes, Executive Director of Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES).

“We commend Commissioner Vicki Been and her team at HPD for listening to the concerns of our diverse communities on language access in the affordable housing application process,” said Cesar Rodriguez of Churches United for Housing, CUFFH and a participant of the HPD Ambassadors program. “We look forward to continuing to work together with HPD to make affordable housing more accessible to working families throughout our diverse City.”

Since its 2013 launch, NYC Housing Connect has made the housing lottery process much easier. The website allows New Yorkers to fill out a single online profile, which can be used to apply to multiple new housing lotteries. That profile can be saved and edited, eliminating the need to fill out individual paper applications for upcoming lotteries. All registered applicants are notified via email when new lotteries are posted to the Housing Connect site. Instructions on how to submit a paper application are also available, and listed in each housing lottery advertisement. Applicants may not submit both a paper application and a web application for the same project. Duplicate applications may be disqualified, as an applicant can only apply once to any given development.

To access NYC Housing Connect and/or NYC Mitchell-Lama Connect, please visit www.nyc.gov/housingconnect. A link to NYC Mitchell-Lama Connect can be found on the upper right side of the screen.

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About New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):

HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us viawww.facebook.com/nychpd and www.twitter.com/nychousing.

About the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC):

HDC is the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency and is charged with helping to finance the creation or preservation of affordable housing under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan.  Since 2003, HDC has financed more than 120,000 housing units using over $13.7 billion in bonds, and provided in excess of $1.6 billion in subsidy from corporate reserves.  HDC ranks among the nation’s top issuers of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing on Thomson Reuter’s annual list of multi-family bond issuers.  In each of the last four consecutive years, HDC’s annual bond issuance has surpassed $1 billion.  For additional information, visit: www.nychdc.com.

About HPD Housing Ambassadors:
HPD partners with community-based service providers in New York City who help people prepare and apply for affordable housing. We work with these Housing Ambassadors to help provide up-to-date, consistent information and assistance about the application process to communities, and we encourage people to contact them for guidance.

The following organizations are Housing Ambassadors:

For more information about this program and the innovative collaboration behind it, read the press release and visit Public & Collaborative.

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The New York City Housing Development Corporation (“HDC”) provides a variety of financing programs for the creation and preservation of multi-family affordable housing throughout the five boroughs of New York City.  HDC is implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation’s history.  HDC’s programs are designed to meet the wide-range of affordable housing needs of the City's economically diverse population.

Contact:
Christina Sanchez
Phone: (212) 227-2644

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