383 Hewes St. Photo by Christopher Bride via Property Shark

As conversations rage over numerous affordable housing commitments citywide, one source of subsidized apartments remains consistent: lotteries. Thanks to a variety of loan programs, tax abatements and the occasional local group such as CAMBA, there seems to be an endless supply of “affordable” units available through NYC Housing Connect. Of course, these below-market rate homes are gatekept by the luck inherent to a lottery-based distribution system (and the fact that units are often priced for those making significantly more than low- and middle-income area residents).

The newest affordable housing development up for lottery in Brooklyn is at Los Sures, or Southside United H.D.F.C., a non-profit community group on the South Side of Williamsburg. In addition to providing housing, the organization also has a food pantry and senior center. Considering the group’s mission to provide affordable housing and services to locals struggling to pay rising rents, it’s especially sad that the eight renovated units up for lottery at 383 Hewes St. are renting for respectively 80 and 120 percent of the area median income – far above the means of many who benefit from Los Sures’ services.

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Furthermore, current residence may not be given priority in the lottery, unusual for apartments posted to NYC Housing Connect. In most cases, people already living within the community are allocated a percentage of units. For the Los Sures lottery, though, preference will only be given to the mobility, vision, and hearing disabled as well as municipal employees, according to the Housing Connect PDF.

Of the eight units, there are four two-bedrooms and four three-bedrooms. Two of the two-bedrooms will rent for $1,440/month (a rent which people making 80 percent of the area’s median income can afford according to the equation that you should be putting a third of your income towards housing) to two- to four-person families in the $51,360 – $76,320 income bracket. The other two two-bedrooms will go to those making 120 percent AMI and will rent for $2,198/month to two- to four-person families making $77,349 – $114,480 annually. Three of the three-bedrooms will go to those in the 80 percent AMI bracket, or three- to six-person households with an annual income of $59,623 – $88,560. A single three-bedroom apartment will go to those making 120 percent AMI, or three- to 6-person homes making $89,589 – $132,840 a year.

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Per Los Sures, there’s a number of amenities available in the form of a caring community group, but they’re awkwardly aimed at people making significantly less than the income minimums needed to qualify for units. There’s an on-site resident super and the building is near the J and M trains and the B60 bus.

The lottery opened on August 7 and applications will be accepted through the 28th at midnight. If you care to tempt fate and apply, see further application details at NYC Housing Connect. Don’t be scammed: these applications never have a broker or application fee.

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