How I Won the NYC Affordable Housing Lottery THREE times (Part II) –As told to Nathali by Fatima English: It’s more difficult to adjust your income to a lower income than it is to a higher one. For example if you miss the deadline because you’re too low and you are a waiter you can report your tip earning and explain to them you actually make more because you get cash tips. Or if your husband does extra electrician jobs on the side then you can report you get paid cash fro those side jobs. If you are able to say you get cash, you can make up if you are short on the bracket.
Once I received the application in the mail, it was full of information telling me what forms I needed to get together to apply. One of the things they ask you about is what is the income. Income is calculated on annual gross (pre-tax) income and they also count the interest gained from assets. If you are in a household they check this for both husband and wife. They search in depth how much each member of the household makes, if they own anything and if you have children over 18 they have to prove they are working or in college. They ask you, for example, to get together your tax filings for the past few years. They ask for your bank and financial statements, if you or your spouse owns any businesses and if either of you own any property. The reason they ask for this is because you have to fit in the income bracket that they have set up in order to qualify to win the apartment. I wasn’t approved for one of the apartments I won because I made $400.00 over their limit! Making too much doesn’t get you approved but also making to little is not good either. They reject low household incomes because they don’t want to accept someone into the building that won’t be able to pay their rent. In these building you can have people who pay over $5,000 a month in rent, but if you win the lottery your monthly rent can be as low as $500 in these buildings. Once you get all these papers together, you then to prepare for an interview. The interview is the final step in getting completely approved for the apartment. I’ll talk about my interview experience in the next newsletter.