Housing Programs & Services

NYCHA: Changes under COVID-19

T + T


NYCHA is NYC’s public housing program for low-income tenants where rent is typically 30% of household income. In accordance with the city and state’s State of Emergency, NYCHA has made administrative changes to their policies and procedures. NYCHA is performing certain repairs. NYCHA residents who have experienced loss of income can apply for NYCHA’s rent hardship program or the zero income policy.

If you are a Benefits Plus subscriber, for additional information on NYC’s public housing program New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), refer to Benefits Plus, Housing Programs and Services, Public Housing. For subscription information visit: https://bplc.cssny.org/home/subscription_options.

Suspensions and Closures

NYCHA has made the following administrative changes to their policies and procedures:

  • Customer Contact Center walk-in locations in Brooklyn and the Bronx are closed.
  • Property Management Offices are open, but with a reduced number of staff
    • Direct-contact meetings with residents are suspended, except for scheduled appointments.
      • To schedule an appointment, residents should call their Property Management Office directly.
    • Residents are being assisted via telephone and email.
  • NYCHA’s Office of Impartial Hearings remains closed.
    • All hearings and conferences are adjourned; parties will receive letters with their new dates.
    • For any questions, call 718-218-1182 or 718-218-1184.

NYCHA residents may also be protected from evictions under the CDC Order, NYS Tenant Safe Harbor Act, and/or NYS Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). For more information, see above, Eviction Moratoriums, Protections Against Residential Evictions.

Maintenance and Repair

NYCHA will continue to perform emergency maintenance repairs, such as:

  • Water leaks
  • Gas leaks or smell
  • Flooding conditions
  • Stoppages
  • Electrical issues
  • Interior rat infestations
  • High severity bed bug or mice infestations
  • Other Hazardous conditions

NYCHA is also responding to work orders related to:

  • No power in entire apartment
  • Partial power outages impacting kitchens or bathrooms
  • No electrical power to life sustaining equipment
  • Cabinets falling off walls
  • Stoves or refrigerators not working
  • Smoke/carbon monoxide detectors not working
  • Window guard missing/loose
  • Apartment door not working
  • Intercoms and lobby doors

In September 2020, NYCHA expanded the maintenance work and repairs performed inside apartments for some health and safety-related non-emergency work, such as extermination, broken windows, lead paint assessments, leaks, kitchen appliances, and other items. Residents can call the CCC (Customer Contact Center) at 718-707-7771 if they need to request repairs. Trained representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Residents can also submit requests on the MyNYCHA app.

Rent Hardship Program and Zero Income Policy


Households experiencing loss of income may qualify for the rent hardship program for a rent reduction or the Zero Income Policy, where rent will be zero.

Rent will be adjusted for the month following the submission of the application. NYCHA will accept partial rent payments until the application is processed.
For more information, click here or view NYCHA’s Rent Hardship Flyer.


Households may qualify for the rent hardship program when:

  • There is at least a 5% reduction to gross income
  • Current rent is more than 30% of household income

The standard waiting period that would normally be required to request an Interim Recertification has been suspended. Residents can apply for the rent hardship program immediately.


Households may qualify for the Zero Income Policy when:

  • There is no income in the household.


Residents can request a rent reduction or zero rent by:

  • Completing an Interim Recertification via NYCHA Self Service Portal (at https://selfserve.nycha.info); or,
    • For step by step instructions on how to complete an Interim Recertification on the Self Service Portal, click here.
  • Contacting their Property Management Office for a paper application; or,
    • For a listing of all NYCHA Property Management Offices and their phone numbers, click here.
  • Calling the Customer Contact Center at 718-707-7771 and selecting option 5.

Until further notice, NYCHA residents may self-certify their income loss. Supporting documents are not required at this time.

Renewals of NYCHA Preliminary Waitlist Applications

Typically, prospective NYCHA tenants must submit an online application at https://apply.nycha.info": and once submitted, the NYCHA application is in effect for two years. The applicant must ‘renew’ the application at least 30 days before the expiration date to maintain his/her place on the preliminary waiting list. NYCHA typically sends applicants a reminder email that the expiration of the application is approaching, and the renewal requirements.

However, in response to the state of emergency in the City due to COVID-19, NYCHA will automatically renew all applications that are set to expire between March 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021, without need for any action by the applicant. Additionally, NYCHA has agreed to reinstate all applications that may have been terminated for nonrenewal since March 2020 and restore their original application dates.

How COVID-19 Cash Aid Impacts NYCHA


The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic impact payments (up to $1,200 per individual, $500 per qualifying child) are excluded from income calculations.

For information on the economic impact payments, refer to COVID-19 Resources, Cash Benefits, Coronavirus Economic Impact Payment.


The $300 per week in PUC are excluded from income calculations.

For information on PUC, refer to COVID-19 Resources, Expansion of Unemployment Insurance, Pandemic Unemployment Compensation.