New York City Housing Authority

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Screening  Process

There are two steps to the screening process:
  • Criminal background check for all household members 16 years old and above
  • Current and/or previous landlord contact

If the screening process determines that the family meets the Authority’s standards for admission, the family is found eligible.

Depending on the housing priority and family size, an applicant may be offered the option to select either a specific development from the Guide to Anticipated Vacancies which lists developments with insufficient applications for anticipated vacancies, or be placed on the borough-wide waiting list.

Emergency applicants, which include homeless, victims of domestic violence and intimidated witnesses, are only entitled to a borough choice. All families requiring five bedrooms or more are only entitled to a borough choice. All other applicants are permitted to select a development. 

Due to low turnover and the Authority’s preference system, it is not possible to predict the length of time an applicant might be on the waiting list before being reached for an apartment.