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Homes and Community Renewal

2010-B-06: New Mitchell-Lama Admission Preference for Veterans

To: All Housing Companies
     Owners, Managing Agents and Site Managers

From: Robert Damico, Downstate Director
          Housing Management Bureau

Date: September 23, 2010

Subject: New Mitchell-Lama Admission Preference for Veterans

Section 31 of the Private Housing Finance Law was amended effective September 12, 2010 to broaden the Mitchell-Lama admission preference given to Vietnam veterans and disabled veterans to encompass all veterans, or their surviving spouses, who served on active duty in time of war, as defined in Section 85 of the Civil Service Law, and reside in New York State.

For open waiting lists, this preference should be implemented immediately. For waiting lists that have been closed in accordance with 9NYCRR 1727-1.4(a), this preference should be implemented when the list is reopened.

We have attached a summary of the relevant Civil Service Law definition of "veteran" for reference and the amended statute. The complete text of Section 85 of the Civil Service Law may be found in the "Laws of New York" link at:

Accordingly, all Mitchell-Lama (Article 2) housing companies are directed to implement the veteran preference as follows:

  1. Afford the new veteran preference to applicants on admission waiting lists who previously qualified for the disabled veteran preference (see MBM #2007-B-08) and process their applications before those of admission applicants who do not qualify for a preference or priority.

  2. Immediately notify applicants on open admission waiting lists of the new veteran preference and request that qualified applicants submit proof of eligibility (see attached Summary of Civil Service Law, item e). Such notification can be included in a standard canvass letter (see 9NYCRR 1727-1.4[c]). Note that if a waiting list is closed and applications are not being accepted, the veteran preference should not be implemented until the waiting list is reopened.

  3. Annotate the Mitchell-Lama Automated Waiting List to identify applicants who submit proof of eligibility by entering "veteran" in the field labeled priority and process their applications before those of admission applications who do not have a preference or priority.

  4. Revise marketing advertisements, outreach letters, apartment applications and related materials to ensure that all new admission applicants are aware of the preference. Federally assisted developments should also update their written tenant selection plans to incorporate the veteran preference.

  5. Note that the veteran preference does not apply to transfer applicants and it does not supersede the priority afforded to transfer applicants for three out of every four available apartments (see 1727-1.3[a]).

If you have any questions regarding implementation of this preference, please contact Veda Ramos at (212) 480-7345 or

- Robert Damico

Summary of Civil Service Law Section 85 Definition of Veteran


Veterans eligible for the preference are those who:

a) were members of the Armed Forces of the United States;
b) served on active duty for other than training purposes in time of war 1;
c) were discharged honorably or released under honorable circumstances;
d) are residents of New York State; and
e) have documented their eligibility by submitting Form DD214 (NAVPERS-553 /
NAVMC-78 PD / WDAG)-53, 98) and for service in Lebanon, Grenada, or Panama, the award of an appropriate expeditionary medal.

1 Time of war includes the following wars and hostilities:

Persian Gulf ConflictAugust 2, 1990 - the date upon which such hostilities end (includes the Global War on Terrorism)
*Hostilities in PanamaDecember 20, 1989 - January 31, 1990
*Hostilities in LebanonJune 1, 1983 - December 1, 1987
*Hostilities in GrenadaOctober 23, 1983 - November 21, 1983

[* Service during these periods is qualifying only if the veteran received the armed forces, navy, or marine corps expeditionary medal.]

Viet Nam ConflictDecember 22, 1961 - May 7,1975
Korean ConflictJune 27,1950 - January 31,1955

Service in the commissioned corps of the US Public Health Service:

 July 29, 1945 - September 2, 1945 or
 June 26, 1950- July 3, 1952
World War IIDecember 7,1941 - December 31,1946
World War IApril 6, 1917 - November 11, 1918

See page 5 of the PDF version of this document to view image of Veteran Preference Amendment

Last updated on 09/23/10