Press Release

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Creating Safer Communities Through Millions of Dollars of Security Upgrades, Interagency Collaboration, and Targeted Initiatives at 15 MAP Developments

Creating Cleaner Communities with More Efficient Operations, Major Capital Repairs and Upgrades, and Integration of Resiliency and Sustainability into Planning and Construction

Creating More Connected Communities Through Extensive Resident Engagement, Digital Tools to Improve Customer Service, and Strong Partnerships with Expert Providers

NEW YORK–– Today, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) celebrates the one-year anniversary of NextGeneration NYCHA, the Authority’s ten-year strategic plan for preserving and protecting public housing for future generations while creating safe, clean, connected communities today.

In the first year of the NextGeneration plan, NYCHA has made major progress in its commitment to improving quality of life for the more-than 400,000 people who call NYCHA home – and has done so while achieving a positive budget outlook for 2016.

NYCHA has made major capital repairs and improvements to buildings across the five boroughs, including at Sandy-impacted developments – affecting at least 44,000 residents – and is integrating sustainability and resiliency into all new construction. NYCHA has improved the speed and ease of customer service with initiatives like localized property management, and innovative technology, like the MyNYCHA Mobile App, which connects residents with NYCHA through smartphones, tablets, and computers. NYCHA has made millions of dollars of security improvements, installing security cameras, exterior and interior lighting, and layered access doors, and continues to make communities safer by enhancing communication and collaboration with partner agencies. NYCHA is engaging residents in new ways, through comprehensive outreach efforts and constant dialogue with the community – graduating nearly 450 residents from its resident training programs, partnering with expert providers to deliver services to residents, and holding 36 meetings with over 600 residents to date at Holmes Towers and Wyckoff Gardens in the NextGen Neighborhoods program. Additionally, NYCHA is leveraging new funding streams, including federal programs like Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD), through which NYCHA will make critical improvements and renovations at 1,400 units in Far Rockaway.

“In NextGen’s first year, NYCHA has made notable progress improving public housing and quality of life for more than 400,000 New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “From replacing roofs to reducing mold to installing lights and other security upgrades so more residents feel safer in their communities, this comprehensive, strategic plan is moving NYCHA in the right direction.”

NextGeneration NYCHA is a massive turnaround effort to pull NYCHA back from the brink of financial crisis,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “Even though NYCHA’s turnaround is a marathon, not a sprint, we’ve caught a commanding stride in NextGen’s first year, improving quality of life for our residents while taking the bold steps necessary to preserve public housing for the future.”

Year-One Highlights:

Making critical improvements to our buildings:

Improving the speed and ease of customer service:

  • Launched the MyNYCHA Mobile App in English and Spanish, which has been downloaded nearly 23,000 times, and used to generate over 97,000 work orders to date
  • Launched online Section 8 recertifications and pubic housing annual income reviews
  • Reduced average maintenance response time to 7 days
  • At 18 localized property management (OPMOM) developments, reduced routine work-order completion time from 21 days to 6.2 days
  • Distributed handheld devices for dispatch and inventory at 3 developments

Creating safer communities:

Connecting residents with quality career opportunities and best in class services––

  • Graduated 350 residents from Resident Training Academy
  • Graduated 84 residents from Food Business Pathways
  • Transferred 24 community centers and 17 senior centers to DYCD and DFTA

Connecting residents to resources to aid in their financial planning:

  • Launched pilot at St. Nicholas Houses to reduce overall rent delinquency
  • Expanded use of robocalls as rent reminders to all of NYCHA
  • Trained over 700 NYCHA staff on referring residents to financial counseling
  • Connected over 200 residents to homebuyer education resources
  • Integrated economic opportunity referrrals into NYCHA management procedures
  • Enrolled over 250 Section 8 residents into the Family Self-Sufficiency Program

Identifying critical areas to increase operational savings:

  • Created 15 new leases of formerly vacant ground-floor commercial and community space and renewed 9 leases, totaling 27,000 sq-ft generating new revenue
  • Reduced central office costs by integrating staff with other city agencies

Making progress on projects in new construction and preservation:

  • Released RFP to upgrade 1,400 public housing units in Far Rockaways through HUD’s RAD program
  • Selected developers for NYCHA’s first 100%-affordable housing sites at Mill Brook, Ingersoll, and Van Dyke Houses
  • Engaged over 600 residents in 36 meetings to date at Holmes Towers and Wyckoff Gardens in the NextGen Neighborhoods program

Modernizing how NYCHA does business:

  • Launching the Fund for Public Housing, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), which will leverage philanthropic dollars and public-private partnerships to improve social service delivery and economic opportunity for NYCHA residents
  • Launched NYCHA’s first-ever Sustainability Agenda, marking the first time in NYCHA’s history the Authority has developed an integrated, long-term plan focused on environmental health, green building and operations, and climate change adaptation and resiliency
  • Released “Recovery to Resiliency,” outlining NYCHA’s comprehensive approach to repairing and upgrading the 33 Sandy-impacted developments to enhance resiliency and quality of life for residents, as well as the proactive, preventive steps NYCHA is taking to protect its portfolio from future weather events.

“NextGeneration NYCHA is making strides in improving quality of life for the thousands of public housing residents who have been calling for changes to their living conditions and developments.” said Council Member Ritchie Torres, Chair of City Council Committee on Public Housing. “While the work is not over and the goals of NextGeneration NYCHA will take many years to accomplish, the outlook for completing those goals remains positive. As Chair of the Committee on Public Housing, I’ll continue to work with NYCHA to ensure it is on the right track to meet its goals and produce outcomes that will benefit residents.”

“We must continue making the investments that improve the quality of life for NYCHA residents,” said Congress Member Nydia M. Velázquez. “For my part I will continue pushing for greater federal resources for housing improvements that benefit residents.  Bringing NYCHA developments into the 21st Century and preserving affordable housing requires working together at all levels of government.”

“NextGeneration NYCHA offers hope to the hundreds of thousands of public housing residents who have waited far too long for completed repairs, for a safe, healthy environment that every family has the right to expect,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “I urge NYCHA to continue to listen to the residents who know their homes better than anyone else and who want to participate actively in improving the quality of life in and around their developments.”

“Mayor de Blasio’s NextGeneration NYCHA plan is simple and effective,” said State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan. “It strategically identifies vast improvements that are both cost-effective and lasting. It was that reinvestment in NYCHA that had my support early on in last year’s state budget. It was good to see a long-view plan in place for NYCHA, and I’m glad that after a year in action it has delivered as promised.”

“Public housing is a vital source of affordable housing for many New Yorkers, and we need to make sure all NYCHA developments are safe, clean and maintained properly,” said State Senator James Sanders Jr. “The first year accomplishments of the NextGeneration plan demonstrate the city’s willingness to begin to address the problems that plague NYCHA buildings, but there is still much more that needs to be done, and I look forward to continued progress in the future.”

"The commitment that Next Generation NYCHA has made to improving safety is visible in developments in my district,” said Assembly Member Maritza Davila. “From greatly improved lighting, to removing unnecessary scaffolding, NYCHA has kept its promise to addressing our safety concerns. I look forward to continuing my partnership with NYCHA as Next Generation NYCHA continues to roll out."

“Over the past year, NextGeneration NYCHA has made tremendous progress in preserving public housing and ensuring NYCHA residents have a better quality of life,” said Assembly Member Pamela Harris. “By protecting access to affordable housing and making important repairs and upgrades, NextGeneration has given more New Yorkers the peace of mind that comes with having a safe, reliable place to call home.”

"The NYCHA first-ever Sustainability Agenda helps to integrate public housing into our city's efforts to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050,” said Council Member Costa Constantinides, Chair of the City Council Committee on Environmental Protection. “The plan ensures that NYCHA buildings are constructed sustainably and efficiently, while considering the environmental health of residents. I look forward to working with community members as this agenda is implemented. I commend NYCHA CEO Shola Olatoye for her bold vision on this important issue.”

“NextGeneration NYCHA represents our commitment to safe, clean, and secure housing for all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson. “As the first year of this ten year plan draws to a close, I am proud of the improvements we have made to public safety through environmental and lighting designs and I am thankful the City has made it easier for tenants to report problems through a new app. I thank Mayor de Blasio and NYCHA Executive Director Shola Olatoye for their leadership and for their determination to improve the conditions for all NYCHA residents.”

"Under the leadership of Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye, it is clear that NYCHA is heading in a far better direction with its NextGeneration plan," said Council Member Donovan Richards. "As we see more roofs being repaired and boilers being moved out of basements and onto roofs, residents can begin to feel like they have better days ahead. I'd like to thank Chair Olatoye and Mayor de Blasio for focusing on building more resilient and sustainable homes for NYCHA residents across the city."

“For too long, NYCHA residents have gone without basic services and repairs,” said Council Member Corey Johnson. “Nextgen NYCHA is an important commitment to these residents that the New York Housing Authority will address capital needs and that it will remain financially solvent in the long-term. With more improvements coming down the pipeline, I look forward to seeing what this program will continue to do for our residents in the years to come. I want to thank NYCHA, the de Blasio Administration, and all my colleagues in the Council who work hard every day for our NYCHA residents.”

“The 36th Council District comprises of 15 NYCHA locations that provides affordable housing for its residents,” said Council Member Robert Cornegy Jr. “It is imperative that we continue to offer such housing options, while developing and implementing programs that enrich and inspire NYCHA tenants. Through the NextGeneration NYCHA programs, specifically those focused on entrepreneurship, help cultivate an business mindset, that essentially enhances the city as a whole.”

“Over the past year, we have seen some major changes at NYCHA,” said Monique Johnson, President, Throggs Neck Resident Association. "I want to commend resident engagement for working with us to bring the community together as we improve quality of life for residents – their outreach has been awesome. There is still a lot to be done, but we are making valuable progress, tackling challenges piece by piece, and always striving to strengthen the community. I thank NYCHA for bringing us to the table and working with us as partners – I look forward to continued collaboration in this important work.”

“On behalf of the resident council and the broader Nostrand and NYCHA community, we are so proud to be part of the NextGeneration plan,” said Barbara McFadden, President, Nostrand Resident Association. "Over the past year, we have been in constant, productive communication with NYCHA – having a conversation about engagement, leadership, and improving quality of life that I had not seen in all my years in public housing. Under NextGeneration, we are really moving forward – all residents working together as a coalition, from seniors down to youth, to solve problems, face challenges, and improve the community. I am so proud to be a resident of NYCHA today, proud to be a leader of NYCHA residents, proud to be part of NextGeneration, and I look forward to sharing our successes as we make continued progress.”

"NAHRO recognizes that housing authorities across the country have to do more with less and NYCHA's NextGeneration plan provides examples of innovative techniques that maximize scarce resources,” said John Bohm, Acting CEO, National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO). “All housing authorities, small to large, can adapt many of these techniques in their agencies becoming community leaders in affordable housing preservation."

“CLPHA commends NYCHA for making significant progress in its first year of a ten-year plan to upgrade its portfolio, especially at a time of considerable disinvestment and decreased budgets for public housing programs,” said Sunia Zaterman, Executive Director, Council of Large Public Housing Authorities (CLPHA). “Through its NextGeneration plan, NYCHA is investing in improving the quality of life for residents, their families and their communities by leveraging new funding, partnering with service providers and changing the way they do business.”

"At a time when funding shortfalls make the job harder than ever, NYCHA has crafted innovative and sustainable solutions that expand access to safe, quality affordable housing," said Jolie Milstein, President & CEO, New York State Association for Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH). "I thank Shola Olatoye and the NYCHA team for being strong and effective partners in efforts to provide more New Yorkers with the affordable housing they need."

"We congratulate NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye and her team for undertaking a.comprehensive plan to improve and preserve this critical housing resource,” said Jerilyn Perine, Executive Director, Citizens Housing Planning Council (CHPC). “Rethinking finance, development, management and civic engagement is a tall order and the administration's long term commitment has been vitally important to the plan's success.”

"New York Housing Conference commends NYCHA for moving in the right direction with a strategic vision for capital repairs and ambitious changes in management to improve the quality of housing for residents,” said Rachel Fee, Executive Director, New York Housing Conference (NYHC). “With rents rising across our five boroughs, preserving public housing is more important than ever."

“Against heavy odds, Shola Olatoye and her team have been very successful this year in achieving improvements in the public housing stock and building stronger relationships within the NYCHA community,” said Kathryn Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City. “All New Yorkers benefit from their efforts to strengthen our city’s affordable housing safety net.”

“We applaud the New York City Housing Authority for its progress to date on NextGeneration NYCHA, including making significant progress toward the preservation of 1,400 public housing units at Ocean Bay Apartments through the Rental Assistance Demonstration program and continuing to enhance its engagement with residents and community stakeholders,” said Judi Kende, VP & NY Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. “NYCHA is an essential springboard of opportunity for many New Yorkers, providing permanently affordable housing to very low-income residents in practically every neighborhood of the city. NextGeneration NYCHA is the blueprint to preserve this critical resource for the future.”