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Freedom Of Information Law (FOIL) Requests

  1. What is the Freedom of Information (FOIL) Law? 
  2. How do I make a FOIL request? 
  3. What happens after a request is received by NYCHA? 
  4. When will I receive an answer once I have made a FOIL request ? 
  5. Why is access to certain records denied? 
  6. Do I need to show photo identification and/or sign a release? 
  7. Are there any costs/fees associated with making a FOIL request? 
  8. When and where can I review the records?
  1. What is the Freedom of Information (FOIL) Law?

    The Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) promotes the policy of open government. FOIL was designed to make documents generated by and in the possession of government agencies available to the public with certain specific exceptions.

    Please note the following:

    Public Housing Applications. All requests for public housing applications and qualifications for public housing should be made directly to NYCHA’s Applications & Tenancy Administration Department. Please refer to   NYCHA’s website for assistance on applying for Public Housing.

    Employment Records/Personnel Files. All requests from NYCHA employees for their own Employment Records/Personnel Files should be made directly to NYCHA’s Human Resources Department located at 90 Church Street, New York New York 10007: General Information Number: (212)306-8000.

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  2. How do I make a FOIL request?

    You must make your request in writing. Please be as specific as possible in describing the records you seek so that we may properly identify which records are responsive to your request. Some information may be downloaded directly from this website. If you do not find the information you seek here, please send a letter by mail, fax, or email to:
    Records Access Officer
    NYCHA
    250 Broadway, 9th Floor
    New York, NY 10007
    Email Address: FOIL@nycha.nyc.gov
    Phone: (212) 306-8680 
    Fax: (212) 306-8710


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  3. What happens after a request is received by NYCHA?

    Your request is given a NYCHA FOIL number, entered into NYCHA's tracking system and then routed to the department within NYCHA where the records you seek may be kept. This number will appear on all correspondence you receive from NYCHA, and will help us to identify your request if you write or call seeking a status of your request.

    The department will then identify and locate the records you have requested, if any. The FOIL Unit reviews the records for responsiveness to your request and insures that release of the records complies with the Freedom of Information Law. The materials are photocopied and sections that are determined to be non-releasable are blacked out (redacted). Sometimes an answer to a request contains hundreds or thousands of pages, and may take some time to assemble.

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  4. When will I receive an answer once I have made a FOIL request?

    The Records Access Officer or her designee will mail you an acknowledgment within five business days of receipt of your request. In this acknowledgment, NYCHA will estimate how long it will take to gather the records you requested. If you have not received notice of completion of your request within the time estimated in our acknowledgment letter, please feel free to contact us.

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  5. Why is access to certain records denied?

    Article 6 of the Public Officers Law, Section 87, includes nine conditions for denial of access. Some of the most common requests received by NYCHA that involve records exempt from disclosure are:
    • Records that are specifically exempted from disclosure by state or federal statute.
    • Records that, if disclosed, would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy (for example, home telephone numbers, home addresses, and social security numbers).
    • Records that, if disclosed, could endanger the life or safety of another person.
    • Records that are inter-agency or intra-agency materials which do not fall within any exception.
    A denial of access must be in writing, stating the reason for denial and advising you of your right to appeal.

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  6. Do I need to show photo identification and/or sign a release?

    If you are requesting access to your own records, you must produce a valid photo ID to review and/or receive such records.

    If you are an attorney making a request, please note that an original Notarized Release is required prior to disclosing your client's personal and confidential information.

    If you are requesting your client's medical records, an original Release which is HIPAA compliant is required prior to disclosing such records.


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  7. Are there any costs/fees associated with making a FOIL request?

    Individuals making a FOIL Request are required to issue payment to NYCHA for any copies made in response to such request. The Records Access Officer (or her designee) will inform the requestor by letter of the number of pages of documents responsive to the request, and the fee for making copies (currently $0.25 per page). The requestor is required to tender payment to NYCHA before the documents can be released. If the requestor delivers the fee in person, s/he must take the fee to the Central Office Cash Control Cashier at 90 Church Street together with a Control Memo issued by the Records Access Officer, obtain a receipt, and then present the receipt to the Records Access Officer to show proof of payment before the records responsive to the FOIL request will be released. If you request that the records be mailed to you, the actual cost of postage will be added.

    The fee for transferring materials (if available electronically) to a CD-ROM is $20.00 per CD-ROM. A blank CD-ROM must be supplied with the request.

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  8. When and where can I review the records?

    9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
    Monday to Friday except on holidays recognized by NYCHA
    BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

    250 Broadway
    9th Floor
    New York, New York 10007

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