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NYCHA Builds Partnerships to Assist MWSBE Firms

“NYCHA is open for business,” proclaimed New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) First Deputy General Manager Natalie Rivers as she addressed the standing-room-only crowd of minority-owned and women-owned businesses at Lehman College. On June 30, NYCHA’s Department of Equal Opportunity partnered with the New York Women’s Chamber of Commerce to host New York is Open for Business – a procurement and networking breakfast specifically designed to introduce NYCHA buyers and prime contractors to MWBSE firms looking for business opportunities with NYCHA. Also in attendance were NYC Councilmember Diana Reyna and representatives from New York State Small Business Development Center, New York City Small Business Services, and the US Small Business Administration.

All parties came together to host over 65 MWSBE firms looking to do business with NYCHA. NYCHA buyers from General Services, Supply Chain, Capital Projects and Technical Services, and NYCHA prime construction management firms: Munoz Engineering and Land Surveying P.C., LiRo Program and Construction, STV Contracting, and Herbert Kunstadt attended the event to talk business with the NYWCC MWSBE member firms. Towers Watson, NYCHA’s largest financial services provider also attended the event to meet with MWSBE firms. 

Thus far in 2011, NYCHA has procured over $30 million of goods and services with MWSBE firms. “We can do more,” expressed Celeste Segure, director of the Department of Equal Opportunity - at the event as she discussed initiatives currently being pursued to increase participation with MWSBE firms. The networking procurement breakfast is one of many initiatives NYCHA DEO is planning to attract an increased number of MWSBE firms to NYCHA. Everything is being evaluated to increase participation, from the level of bonding required, to MWSBE data collection, to potentially setting goals. NYCHA currently has over 1300 registered firms in their MWSBE supplier directory. Registered firms receive real-time information about NYCHA procurement opportunities and outreach events such as the networking breakfast.  

MWSBE firms attending the event received information regarding NYCHA’s five-year Capital Plan and the potential opportunities associated with it, they were able to check their registration status in the MWSBE directory, and most importantly, firm representatives were able to speak directly with NYCHA procurement professionals about purchasing requirements. The Plan to Preserve Public Housing dictates increased procurement opportunities at NYCHA with the potential for ample MWSBE participation, at both the prime and subcontracting levels.   

Businesses interested in doing business with NYCHA should visit the Doing Business with NYCHA page on the NYCHA website to register their business and begin exploring contracting opportunities with the largest public housing authority in the nation. 

By Rashia Mason
July 25, 2011