New York City Housing Authority

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Applying for Public Housing

The Housing Authority has a Dual Preference Priority System (Working Family and Need Based) in which it ranks each applicant. An applicant may be assigned a priority in either, both or neither Preference.

The priority ultimately assigned is the one that first gains the applicant an eligibility interview.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, through the Annual Plan process, approved the following changes to NYCHA’s Tenant Selection and Assignment Plan, which are effective as of September 24, 2012. All active applications in these categories will be automatically updated: 

  • New York City Residents: First preference will be given to applicants who live or work in New York City.      
  • Preference for Single-Person families: Single elderly and persons with disabilities will be given preference over other single applicants except for emergency single applicants (those with priority codes N0, N1 or N3).
  • Intimidated Witness (formerly an N2 priority) is now an N1 in combination with Victim of Domestic Violence Priorities.
  • Combining the Non-Working Family (formerly N5 priority) with the Working Family Need-Based Substandard/Rent Hardship priority. The N4 priority is now assigned solely on the basis of housing need and not by source of income.
See full description of Need-Based Priority Codes