Housing Assistance for Low-Income in New York

The housing assistance programs in New York State enables the residents to access decent, safe, and affordable housing by providing support with a rental, mortgage, homeownership, and eviction prevention, among other programs to eligible individuals and families.

State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA)

SONYMA runs two mortgage programs that assist those in need with housing support. Both programs are designed to help you find the quality and affordable home that you have been dreaming of. It also offers optional down payment assistance with all the mortgage programs, which can be combined with other grants and subsidies to support those eligible for assistance. The programs include:

Achieving the Dream

Achieving the Dream program support individuals and families eligible for housing assistance by maximizing the amount you can afford with a minimal down payment required.  The program also works to support those in need of assistance with home repairs and remodeling. To apply for this program, you are required to complete a homebuyer education course and get certified. You should note that assistance is always available, but on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit https://hcr.ny.gov/how-apply#how-to-apply to apply for housing assistance with SONYMA.

Low-Interest Rate Program

The SONYMA’S Low-Interest Rate program assists with down payment and competitive interest rates to eligible homebuyers. Through this program, your family can purchase up to 4 homes, cooperatives, and manufactured homes. For you to qualify for this assistance, you must be a first-time homebuyer, have a good credit score, and a stable source of income.

Conventional Plus Program

The Conventional Plus program offers 30-year fixed mortgages and down payment assistance for both first-time buyers and existing homeowners. This means that qualifying individuals can use the program to buy a primary home or to refine an existing mortgage. The down payment assistance can also cover closing costs. Conventional Plus program offers a lower monthly payment than other mortgages. See more features of the program at https://hcr.ny.gov/conventional-plus-program-features-and-requirements.

For more information about SONYMA programs, please visit https://hcr.ny.gov/sonyma-programs.

Mitchell-Lama Program

The Mitchell=Lama program provides affordable housing to New York residents in the middle class. The New York State Homes and the Community Renewal play a crucial role in fostering further developments through this program. Such commitments have contributed to improved availability and affordability of housing in the New York State. Please visit https://hcr.ny.gov/ml for more information about the program.

Solutions to End Homelessness Program (STEHP)

The STEHP program is both federally and state-funded and it offers support to eligible individuals and households in need of permanent housing assistance. It allows people to obtain affordable housing as they experience homelessness, eviction, and housing stabilization. STEHP works alongside other programs that offer supportive services to the homeless. It helps individuals facing homelessness and eviction obtain housing stabilization and a permanent living situation. Find out more at https://otda.ny.gov/programs/housing/spu.asp#stehp.

New York State Supportive Housing Program (NYSSHP)

The NYSSHP was established to provide housing assistance to eligible New York residents to help them achieve self-sufficiency in their lives. Groups eligible for this assistance include single adults, young adults aged 18-25, and low-income families. This program is funded by the New York State, MRT (Medicaid Redesign Team), and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). For more information, please visit https://otda.ny.gov/programs/housing/spu.asp#nysshp.

Emergency Needs for the Homeless Program (ENHP)

The ENHP works to support programs that are committed to meet the most pressing needs of the homeless individuals and households and the ones at risk of becoming victims of homelessness. The funds are forwarded to existing programs and are used to provide services to eligible families and individuals to enable them to obtain stabilization and self-sufficiency. The program is funded by TANF.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
  • Your income must not exceed 200% of the federal poverty level.
  • You must be eligible for TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).
  • Non-profit corporations.
  • Charitable organizations operating in social services districts.

For more information about the ENHP, please visit https://otda.ny.gov/programs/housing/spu.asp#enhp.

Empire State Supporting Housing Initiative (ESSHI)

The ESSHI was established to support and help reach New York’s 5-year goal of creating over 6000 supportive housing units for the homeless and needy individuals and to improve their living conditions. The program is administered by the NYS Office of Mental Health (OMH) and provides operating services and funds meant to sustain newly developed permanent housing units in New York State. It also helps eligible households and individuals maintain stable and affordable housing. For more information, please visit https://otda.ny.gov/programs/housing/spu.asp#esshi.

For more information about housing programs in New York State, please visit https://otda.ny.gov/programs/housing/spu.asp#stehp.

Coalition for the Homeless – Eviction Prevention Program

The Coalition for the Homeless provides limited financial assistance to eligible individuals and households facing eviction. It also offers advocacy services to support the homeless in securing rent arrears grants from the available public and private agencies. You can reach out to the Coalition by contacting them through 212-776-2039. You can call to make an appointment on Wednesdays or Fridays at 9.30 am. to qualify for the eviction prevention program you must have court stipulation and demonstrate that you will be able to pay your rent in the future. Please visit https://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/resources/coalition-for-the-homeless-eviction-prevention-program/ for more information on the program.

New Construction – Residential and Multifamily

This program assists residential builders and developers in the construction and renovation of energy-efficient single-family and multifamily buildings, and townhomes. To homebuyers, building owners, and tenants, this program comes with the following benefits:

  • Lower energy bills.
  • A more comfortable home.
  • Improved air quality.
  • Greater durability with low maintenance.

Also, the program offers financial incentives and technical support to an approved network of home raters. For more information, please visit https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/All-Programs/Programs/Low-Rise-Residential.

Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD)

OPWDD provides New York residents with support to live in a home in your community to promote independence. Depending on your needs, you live independently, while receiving assistance in your apartment. There are also housing subsidies offered to enable you, manage the housing costs. You may also get a chance to live with another family and engage in family affairs. Suppose you apply for a housing subsidy, the amount you are likely to receive will be dependent on your county of residence, the number of people you will be living within your home, and the number of bedrooms in your house. You will also be required to at least contribute a given percentage of your income towards your housing costs. Find out more at https://opwdd.ny.gov/types-services/housing.


The New York Low-Income Energy Assistance program provides heating benefits to low-income individuals and families in the State of New York. Some of the benefits associated with the program include – supplementing households’ annual energy costs, supporting households during heat emergencies, providing equipment repairs for homeowners with faulty heating equipment, and equipment replacement for households in need. New York LI-HEAP helps eligible households and families pay for their electricity, kerosene, natural gas, oil, and coal. Eligibility depends on income status, residence, and the size of the household. Find out more at https://www.benefitsapplication.com/program_info/NY/LIHEAP.

Housing Trust Fund Program (HTF)

HTF was established under Article XVIII of the Private Housing Finance Law and is administered by the Housing Trust Fund Corporation (HTFC). The program is designed to help low-income earners in New York have access to safe and affordable housing. the program provides funds to eligible individuals and households to construct affordable homes and to rehabilitate vacant residential properties. The funds are given to local non-profits and charitable organizations and the local governments to make housing affordable for the low-income. For more information, please visit https://hcr.ny.gov/htf.

USDA’s Single-Family Housing Direct Home Loans in New York

Also, known as the Section 502 Direct Loan Program, the USDA’s Single-Family Housing Direct Loans provides financial assistance to eligible individuals and households who meet the requirements, including low-income levels. Also, payment assistance depends upon the size of the household in need of support. Once you qualify for the program, your monthly mortgage payments reduce by some percentage. For more information about the program, please visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-direct-home-loans/ny.

USDA’s Single-Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants in New York

This program is also known as the Section 504 Home Repair Program and is designed to help homeowners in New York with loans to improve the housing conditions of where they dwell. who is eligible for this program? You must demonstrate the need for financial assistance. this means that you must meet the income requirements and demonstrate an inability to obtain affordable credit elsewhere. For more information, please visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-repair-loans-grants/ny.

Section 8 Housing in New York

Also known as the Housing Voucher Program, Section 8 Housing was established in 1978, under the Housing Community Development Act. The program is designed to provide vouchers to low-income families and individuals and enable them to have access to decent and affordable housing in the private market. Eligibility for this program depends upon the income level and the size of the family in need of assistance. This program works in a way that qualified families cannot use more than 40% of their monthly income to pay rent. Find out more about the program at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/nycha/section-8/about-section-8.page.

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