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Program Launched in Brooklyn to Help With Affordable...

Program Launched in Brooklyn to Help With Affordable Housing
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Help is on the way for residents in Downtown Brooklyn applying for affordable housing lotteries.

Downtown Brooklyn is becoming a hotbed of housing development with thousands of new units expected to be built. A number will be designated affordable housing.

Right now, 1,100 affordable housing units will be added to the area in the next three years. But Borough President Eric Adams says lottery applications for that housing are complicated, with many needing guidance to understand it.

"You must be prepared," Adams said on Tuesday, "but we are going to hold your hand and take you each step of the way for preparation."

That's why he, housing advocates and real estate developers have announced five free seminars to help, as they say, demystify the process. The program was in part launched by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, a not-for-profit local development corporation, who brought together the different groups to work together on the effort.

Rob Solano is the Executive Director of Churches United for Fair Housing, the host of the first seminar. He said many people are simply looking for answers about the process, or why they have been rejected in the past.

"A lot of times, they're not angry about it," Solano said. "It's more about 'I want to know why. I want to know how it works.'"

The seminars will provide in-depth orientation on the application process to help prevent rejection on minor technicalities, which officials said happens often. They will also help residents with the credit history they need for the housing lotteries.

The first seminar will be July 31 with the rest being held several months apart until October 2015.

Both Adams and Solano hope these seminars will become a model for the rest of Brooklyn as well as New York City as a whole.