On February 17, 1934, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia signed into law a bill establishing the nation's first public housing authority. The creation of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) was a pioneering vision that reshaped the City's landscape, replacing slum tenements with clean, safe and affordable housing for poor and working families. Starting with developments that are now official city landmarks - such as First Houses, Harlem River Houses, and Williamsburg Houses - NYCHA oversaw the construction of federal-, state- and city-financed developments from the 1930s through 1970s that created and revitalized communities, providing low- and moderate-income families with decent homes and hope for a better life.
Now celebrating its 75th anniversary, NYCHA has kept the promise of public housing alive by maintaining and modernizing its buildings, while delivering innovative social services, recreational and educational programs, and job training initiatives to further enrich the lives and livelihoods of residents. During difficult decades that saw public housing in major American cities succumbed to social and economic challenges, NYCHA continued to preserve and upgrade New York's public housing.
Today, NYCHA is New York's largest landlord as well as the nation's largest and foremost provider of public housing. Five percent of the city's population lives in one of NYCHA's 340 housing developments, and one of every 13 New Yorkers is either a public housing resident or a NYCHA Section 8 voucher holder. During this milestone anniversary year, NYCHA looks back with pride at its accomplishments and forward to its continuing challenges, knowing that the history of public housing will continue to be written for another 75 years.