Marketing Guidelines

Marketing Handbook

Marketing Handbook cover page

Developers creating City-sponsored affordable housing are required to follow HPD/HDC marketing and resident selection procedures. The primary objective of the marketing, lease-up and sales effort is to ensure that the process is fair and provides equal opportunity to all applicants, regardless of race, color, religion/creed, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, military service/veteran status, immigration status, lawful occupation, lawful source of income, marital or partnership status, pregnancy, presence of children, or status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking. In addition, the process should affirmatively further fair housing by promoting racial, ethnic, income, and geographic diversity among residents and within the neighborhood, and by providing applicants with mobility, vision, or hearing disabilities that require accessible/adaptable units priority for those units.

In addition to following the procedures detailed in the Marketing Handbook, the developer’s outreach efforts are a critical tool in the development of a diverse set of applicant pool and tenancy.

Recent Changes to the Marketing Handbook

08/23/21: Changes include clarification and expansion of guidance on rejecting applicants based on criminal background, including capping the lookback period for certain offenses to five years in accordance with 2016 HUD Guidance, and for when crimes are grounds for rejection, requiring developers to make individual assessments to take factors such as current employment or volunteer activities into consideration; making COVID-19 era adjustments permanent, such as lessening the number of eligibility documents; and updating remarketing policies such that units that do not fill through lottery must be leased to households residing in homeless shelter through Homeless Placement Services (up to 15% of total units).

04/20/20 *Important COVID-19 Update*: The City is committed to continuing to connect New Yorkers to affordable housing. HPD/HDC will be implementing a temporary addendum to the Marketing Handbook, linked above, during this time to expedite the processing of applications to get qualified applicants into affordable housing as quickly as possible. Specific policy changes are outlined in the Memorandum linked above, and including relaxed document requirements and a faster appeal timeline.

01/31/20: Changes include new efficiency measures to make the applicant eligibility review process faster and more convenient, clarifications and guidance for marketing agents reviewing applicant documentation, and updated procedures for leasing units that remain unfilled after processing all lottery applicants, including referrals of homeless clients.

08/21/19: Changes include amendments to: the occupancy standards to increase the number of household members allowed per unit size by one person; the occupancy standards to remove the requirement that married or similarly committed couples are assumed to share a bedroom in determining the unit size for which they qualify; the Housing Court history policy and allowable credit fees to align with new State Tenant Protection laws; the credit/background check policy to allow applicants to provide a credit or background check run within the last 30 days; and the credit check policy to allow applicants to provide evidence of 12 months positive rental payment history in lieu of having the marketing agent run their credit report.

06/19/2018: Updates include clarifying eligibility guidelines for a speedier review process; introducing additional protections for domestic violence survivors; limiting options to reject applicants based on credit history and debt; and reducing document requirements, where possible. And in 2016, we introduced new policies and procedures to standardize credit criteria; restrict rejections based on credit score alone; clarify income calculations; place limits on personal assets and property ownership and streamline the interview process.

We've accelerated and expanded the goals of Housing New York to achieve 300,000 affordable homes by 2026 and are equally committed to making the process of leasing up those apartments as equitable and efficient as possible.

Marketing Agent Opportunities

HPD and HDC are seeking to identify entities for consideration as Qualified Marketing Agents to assume the marketing, lease-up, and sales opportunities for City-sponsored affordable housing in HPD and/or HDC's Marketing Affordability and Oversight Units' portfolio. Learn more about the Qualified Marketing Agent RFQAn initial list of Qualified Marketing Agents was published on September 12, 2022, and will be updated on a rolling basis.

nyc housing connect logo

The New NYC Housing Connect Is Here!

We've taken your feedback and designed a new version of NYC Housing Connect to make the affordable housing application process easier, and more accessible and user-friendly.

New features of the website include:

  • More affordable housing opportunities: In addition to new affordable rentals, the new website will also host homeownership opportunities and re-rentals of affordable homes that went through the lottery previously.
  • Customizable search: Filter for the right opportunities directly on the website, searching by borough, income, household size, and more.
  • Enhanced application process: We'll help you calculate your income accurately and help you determine up front what you're eligible for.
  • Streamlined selection process: Submit documents electronically, receive real-time alerts for important deadlines, and move through the process faster.
  • Mobile-friendly design: Apply more easily from the convenience of your phone or tablet.

For more information, contact your HPD/HDC Marketing team.

Marketing, Lottery, and Lease-up Timeline

Begins with 7 months of pre-marketing, then 6 months of marketing, 4 months of running the lottery, and ends with 2 months of evaluation and selection before occupancy.

Note: Timing is approximate and may vary by project.