Another day, another housing lottery opens in New York. This time, 7,500 New York applicants’ names will be submitted to a randomized lottery process for placement on a waiting list for a chance to rent an “affordable” unit at Riverton Square in Harlem.

The lottery opened May 12 and applications must be postmarked or submitted online no later than June 13, 2016.

Riverton groundsThe Riverton complex contains 1,229 units, with 995 apartments set aside as affordable housing units. The lottery is being conducted by New York City Housing Connect.

Riverton square entryThe 12-acre site contains 7 buildings built in 1947. Much like Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, Riverton Square has been a sought-after community for generations of New Yorkers. While African-Americans and Hispanics were barred from other housing complexes, Riverton Square was an oasis. In 2011, The New York Times wrote about how an ownership group over-leveraged Riverton Square, a situation that has led the building back to its status as a place for subsidized housing.

“Riverton, seven buildings with 1,232 units and a grassy courtyard, between 135th and 138th Streets, from Fifth Avenue to the Harlem River, was built in the late 1940s by Metropolitan Life Insurance as part of a “slum clearance” program led by Robert Moses. At the same time, MetLife built the larger Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village complexes north of 14th Street, but refused to rent those apartments to blacks and Hispanics. (The new owners of those complexes, Tishman Speyer Properties and BlackRock, defaulted on their loans in 2010 and relinquished control to lenders; they had not refinanced.)

“Despite its bitter roots, Riverton developed a cachet within Harlem and was home to tenants like Samuel R. Pierce Jr., a former secretary of housing and urban development; the jazz pianist Billy Taylor; and former Mayor David N. Dinkins. “It was the crème de la crème,” said Nellie Hester Bailey, director of the Harlem Tenants Council.

Riverton Square was sold in 2015 to A&E Real Estate Holdings, which accepted Mayor Bill De Blasio’s push for a $201 million deal in exchange for $100 million in tax credits. The newly launched lottery for the 995 units will create a long waiting list, but the units will be priced to match current income levels of tenants already living there.

Riverton Square kitchenA single person who makes between $72,892 and $79,375 a year could be eligible for a 1-bedroom apartment at the Riverton in Harlem at a monthly rental price of $2,086. Likewise, a single person who makes between $34,972 and $38,100 could qualify for a 1-bedroom at $980 a month. Two- and 3-bedroom units will be available, too. See requirements below:

Riverton Square apartment