NEW YORK — It's a startling statistic. Your odds to receive an affordable housing unit in the city lottery are — 1 in 1,000.
And there are two and a half million applicants.
As any New Yorker knows, finding an apartment is not easy. But 1 in 1,000?
"I can hit the lottery win a scratch ticket then hitting the lottery for this apartment," Kimberley, a Harlem resident, said.
Kimberly said she put her application in the city's affordable housing lottery five years ago. The Harlem resident said she's been waiting.
"I don't get no response. There are people who don't get no response. You don't hear from them I'm telling you seriously," Kimberly said.
The New York City Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development confirms to PIX11 News there are currently 2,628 affordable apartments available, with 2.54 million applications!
Brooklyn resident Orlando James has been on the wait list for two years.
"The government has in their care that are not in terrible disrepair let's fix those up and not let them sit not let them be redeveloped and forget the people," James said.
"I haven't given up hope. But by the time I get an apt I may not have a job and be able to afford it anymore," James added.
Affordable housing is defined as households spending no more than 30 percent of yearly income on rent for the year. Eligibility is based on income guidelines set by U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development or HUD.
And it's just a guideline because income requirements vary from building to building.
For example for a $600 a month one bedroom in Prospect Heights Brooklyn your income has to be between $22,149 and $29,000.
For a $931 a month two bedroom in the same building and up to four people the range in household income has to be between $33,566 and $45,300.
But for another building in Harlem with available units you need to earn between $83,840 and $114,015 for a $2,046 one bedroom. For four people living in a $1,883 per month two bedroom, the household income has to be between $74,400 and $112,190.
Mayor de Blasio's housing initiative called "A five borough five year plan" aims to build or preserve 200,000 affordable housing units.
Emily Goldstein, senior campaign organizer with the advocacy group Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development said preservation is key.
"It really is dire and part of reason so dire is we keep losing affordable housing even as we try to build and as long as that dynamic exist we will never be able build to what we need," Goldstein said.
Governor Cuomo and state legislators recently approved $2 billion in the state budget, earmarked for affordable housing funding. But there's been no word on exactly how it will be used.
You can apply for affordable housing through the housing connect website which is run by the city's Housing Preservation and Development Dept. (HPD).