New York City Housing Authority

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About NYCHA - Fact Sheet

Mission and Overview

The New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. To that end, NYCHA administers a Conventional Public Housing Program as well as a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments. NYCHA also works with numerous partners to connect our residents to a multitude of community, educational and recreational programs, as well as job readiness and training initiatives.

NYCHA was created in 1934. By the end of 1935, NYCHA dedicated First Houses, New York City’s first public housing development, located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. To fulfill our mission, NYCHA must preserve an aging housing stock through timely maintenance and modernization of developments.

The Way It Is Today

NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in North America. NYCHA's Conventional Public Housing Program has 178,557 (as of March 1, 2014) apartments in 334 developments throughout the City in 2,563 residential buildings containing 3,330 elevators (as of March 1, 2014). NYCHA has 11,605 employees (March 10, 2014) serving 175,587 families and 403,120 authorized residents (as of January 1, 2014). This includes 3,052 Section 8 Transition Households (as of January 1, 2014) residing in former State- and City-funded developments.

A total of 615,199 New Yorkers are served by NYCHA’s Public Housing and Section 8 Programs. If NYCHA was a city, it would rank 27th in population size in the United States, with New York City ranked first (as per 2012 U.S. Census Estimate). Based upon the 2011 NYC Housing and Vacancy Survey (HVS), NYCHA Public Housing represents 8.2 percent of the City's rental apartments and, based on the 2012 Census Estimate, is home to 4.8 percent of the City’s population.

NYCHA residents and Section 8 voucher holders combined occupy 12.4 percent of the City's rental apartments and comprise 7.4 percent of New York City’s population.

Conventional Public Housing (as of March 1, 2014)

  • The Bronx has 90 developments with 44,493 apartments
  • Brooklyn has 100 developments with 58,698 apartments.
  • Manhattan has 102 developments with 53,570 apartments.
  • Queens has 22 developments with 17,112 apartments.
  • Staten Island has 10 developments with 4,499 apartments.
  • 10 developments comprising FHA Acquired Homes total 185 apartments. Four FHA Homes groups are located entirely in Queens, the remainder in multiple boroughs with a majority in Queens.
  • 42 developments are for seniors only; 15 seniors-only buildings exist within mixed-population developments
  • NYCHA has approximately 9,822 apartments designated for seniors only.
  • There also are 7,636 retrofitted apartments for families of persons who are mobility impaired.

Section 8 Leased Housing Program

  • 91,103 apartments were rented as of January 1, 2014

As of January 1, 2014:

  • A total of 2,009 apartments, known as Portability Vouchers, are located outside of NYC.
  • There are 220,470 residents in Section 8 units.
  • There are 29,157 participating-private landlords.

How Affordable is Public Housing?
As of January 1, 2014:
  • Families in the Conventional and Section 8 programs pay no more than 30 percent of their family income for rent. The rent difference is subsidized by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
  • Average family income in Conventional Public Housing is $23,150.
  • Average monthly rent is $445.
  • Working families account for 47.2 percent of NYCHA families.
  • 11.4 percent of NYCHA families receive Public Assistance.
  • Social Security, SSI, Pensions, Veteran's Benefits, etc., support 41.4 percent of the families.
  • 37.0 percent of the households are headed by persons age 62 and older 19.0 percent of the NYCHA
  • Population is age 62 or older 33.9 percent of the NYCHA population are residents younger than age 21 and 27.4 percent are minors younger than age 18.

The Waiting List for Public Housing

On March 17, 2014 there were:

  • 247,262 families on the waiting list for Conventional Public Housing.
  • 121,999 families on the waiting list for Section 8 Housing. The Section 8 waiting list had reopened on February 12, 2007 and subsequently closed on May 14, 2007.
  • 21,663 applicants are on both waiting lists.

How the Selection Process Works
NYCHA’s computerized Tenant Selection and Assignment Plan (TSAP) impartially chooses the next applicant for an apartment based on need priorities assigned to each applicant family and matches them to available vacancies as they arise. The TSAP system eliminates any and all interference from external entities and guarantees impartial selection of applicants for vacant apartments based strictly on the need priorities.
  • The turnover rate in calendar year 2013 for NYCHA conventional public housing apartments was 3.1 percent.
  • The vacancy rate of apartments available for occupancy was 0.95 percent as of January 1, 2014.
  • Because of the varied need priorities that comprise a family’s TSAP profile and the low turnover and vacancy rates of apartments, it is virtually impossible to establish an average waiting time for a family to enter Conventional Public Housing. Some applicants can be matched up with an available apartment in months, while others often have to wait years.

For the Record
  • Queensbridge Houses in Queens with 3,142 apartments is the largest development in the City
  • Brooklyn's largest development is Red Hook Houses with 2,878 apartments
  • Manhattan's largest development is Baruch Houses with 2,391 apartments
  • Edenwald Houses in the Bronx is the largest with 2,036 apartments
  • Stapleton Houses with 693 apartments is the largest development in Staten Island

New York City’s Public Housing is constantly modernized and improved to preserve its availability for future generations. In the past 19 years, NYCHA has invested more than $6.1 billion in preserving our buildings.

As of March 1, 2014: 14 developments are at least 70 years old; a total of 42 developments are at least 60 years old; there are 54 developments 50 to 59 years old; another 110 developments are 40 to 49 years old; and 46 developments are 30 to 39 years old. A total of 266 developments are 30 or more years old.

More Than a Place to Live

NYCHA doesn’t just provide a place to live. There are a wide variety of programs offered by NYCHA that are geared specifically to special age or special needs groups such as children, teens, single parents, seniors, substance abusers, and victims of domestic violence, among others. NYCHA oversees a network of over 400 community facilities that include community centers, senior centers, health care centers, day care and Head Start educational centers.

Programs at many of these centers include sports, photography, painting, literacy classes and general education courses, computer training, arts and crafts, childcare feeding and lunch, and senior companion initiatives.

(Revised on April 1, 2014)

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