Affordable Housing Lotteries
This is a very brief overview of a generic affordable housing lottery process as the lottery process changes per property, town, and program (BPDA, 40B, etc.), Please note that a more detailed step-by-step of this timeline is found in the info packet for each property, so please be sure to cross-reference those with any questions you might have.
Housing Lottery Overview (Pre-Lottery, Lottery, Post-Lottery)
Step 1: A new development is permitted/approved in an agreement between a City/Town and a developer with oversight provided by a Program Administrator (like DHCD or MassHousing or MHP). The Executive Team of SEB Housing (Brian & Dave and Co) work with the developer (our client) to ensure that all the various conditions of the affordable housing program are incorporated into the marketing and Lottery Materials that they draft for City/Town and Program Administrator approval). The Lottery Materials will include the Marketing Plan, the Info Packet, Lottery Application, and Advertisements. The Lottery Materials will contain descriptions of the property along with eligibility requirements, preferences and priority details on how the Waiting Lists will be created and how households will be allowed to move forward in the process of selecting/reserving units. If applicants contact SEB Housing during this time, for Non-Boston properties they are put into the Lottery Info Request database in the main Lottery folder, and for Boston properties they are put into the database in the property-specific folder (as different info is needed from applicants for inquiries on Boston lotteries).
Step 2: Marketing starts for the lottery. Applications are available and households can begin submitting completed applications, and must submit applications by the deadlines give in the materials (which is usually 60 days from the date marketing starts, but always review the Application for those details and deadlines). The documentation required varies from lottery to lottery. Only income and asset eligible applicants who submit all required information are entered. Rents are “locked-in” at this time
Step 3: The Processing Staff reviews and evaluates applications for completion and eligibility and sends status notices to applicants. If households are eligible, they will be given a registration/application number to be entered into the lottery.
Step 4: On the night of the lottery, ballots with each household’s application/registration numbers are placed into the lottery and drawn randomly. The results are then sorted into various waiting lists based on the size/composition of households, local preference priority, unit sizes for which households applied, and the order drawn in the lottery.
Step 5: Once the lottery is complete and the Waiting Lists established, applicants are notified of the lottery results. For rental lotteries, the Leasing Office will send out invitations to households and those households must complete Lease Applications (where households must be approved for lease eligibility using the same factors used for market-rate applicants such as credit, criminal background, lease history etc). For homeownership lotteries, SEB Housing manages the Waiting Lists, and SEB Housing will send completed applications to Program Administrator for Certification. (Note, for a DHCD development the file gets sent to DHCD, but for a MassHousing Development, the file will be sent to a Monitoring Agent who works for MassHousing). Once the application/household has been certified, they will be allowed to reserve/purchase a unit (so long as they continue to meet various requirements up through the closing date).
For properties where there are not enough Lottery Applicants to rent all available units
Step 6 (rental): If Leasing Office is keeping the Waiting Lists open, interested households must first conact the Leasing Office, get on the Waiting List, and complete a Rental Application and reserve a unit before SEB Housing is involved. Only when a Post-Lottery applicant has reserved a unit and SEB Housing has confirmation of the reservation from the Leasing Office does SEB Housing start work with the applicant on their Certification Application.
For properties where there are not enough Lottery Applicants to purchase all available units
Step 6 (homeownership): If there are insufficient households on the Waiting Lists established by the lottery to purchase all available units, SEB Housing will keep the property posted on their website. Unlike for rental post-lottery properties, here households will continue to submit Certification Applications with supporting documentation to SEB Housing, and households will be added to the Waiting Lists by the Processor in the order that they complete their Application with SEB Housing. If units are immediately available for reservation at the time a post-lottery household completes their Application with SEB Housing, it will be sent in to the Monitoring Agent for formal certification, and that household will be allowed to reserve a unit for purchase