Applying to NYCHA 

NYCHA conducts criminal background checks on applicants who are applying for NYCHA apartments and family members who wish to join a household temporarily or permanently. For people with recent criminal histories, convictions may influence their eligibility to live in NYCHA.* Please see the chart below that shows how long a person would have to wait from their release from prison or jail based on their conviction type for their criminal history not to affect their eligibility. If there was no prison or jail, a person’s time starts from the date of their final court disposition. 

The following time frames apply for the following types of convictions:

  • Class A, B, or C felony: 6 years
  • Class D or E felony: 5 years
  • Class A misdemeanor: 4 years
  • Class B misdemeanor or other: 3 years

Appealing a decision

A person who applies for NYCHA housing and is denied because of their conviction can appeal the decision and produce evidence of rehabilitation, even if the person is still “ineligible” according to the waiting periods (as listed above). 

For individuals applying for an apartment: An applicant who is found ineligible because of their criminal history can ask for an informal hearing to appeal the decision.  At the hearing, the applicant can produce evidence of rehabilitation, even if the applicant is still “ineligible” according to the waiting periods above.

For residents seeking to add someone to their household: A NYCHA resident who is denied permission to add someone to the household can request a grievance hearing to challenge the denial. This request should be made at the management office. At the hearing, the resident can present information and evidence to support their request, which could include evidence of rehabilitation.

In both of the above situations, the hearing is an opportunity to provide evidence of rehabilitation. In both, the applicant or resident can be represented by an advocate, and will receive a written decision stating the basis for the final decision.

*Note: Convictions for producing methamphetamine in federally subsidized housing and people who are on lifetime sex offender registries are permanently ineligible for public housing. Passage of time does not matter in these cases.