Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 28, 2016


Top designation from HUD underscores NYCHA’s efficiency and effectiveness administering Section 8

NYCHA’s Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program is largest in nation, providing housing assistance to more than 200,000 New Yorkers

NEW YORK––The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced today that it received the highest designation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for outstanding performance administering the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program. NYCHA administers the nation’s largest Housing Choice Voucher program in the country, providing housing assistance to 85,000 households or 203,000 people.

“This designation demonstrates how we are succeeding in fundamentally changing how we do business and becoming more efficient,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “NYCHA’s Section 8 program provides housing and opportunity for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who otherwise could not afford to call this city home. By effectively administering this program, we can better serve families who rely on this invaluable resource.”

“Running the largest Section 8 program in the nation’s tightest rental market is no easy task,” said Holly Leicht, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “The major improvements that won NYCHA a ‘High Performer’ designation this year are a testament to the vision, competence and hard work of Chair Olatoye and Executive Vice-President for Leased Housing Cathy Pennington and her team.”

NYCHA received a Section Eight Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) score of 93 percent for meeting HUD’s standards for program management in 2015, earning it a ‘High Performer’ rating, which indicates improved customer service for both Section 8 residents and landlords. SEMAP is HUD’s tool for measuring the annual performance of public housing agencies (PHAs) that administer the housing choice voucher program. Every year, HUD assigns each PHA an overall performance rating of high, standard, or troubled. This is NYCHA’s first “High Performer” designation since 2004. In previous years, the Authority’s overall performance had been standard.

SEMAP measures performance in 14 key areas, including proper selection of applicants from waiting list, performing quality-control inspections to ensure housing meets all standards, budget utilization, accuracy of income and rent calculations, and ensuring that all available housing vouchers are used. NYCHA excelled in all of these key areas, and earned 135 points out of 145 points.

As part of its ten-year strategic plan NextGeneration NYCHA, the Authority has been changing the way it operates, embedding quality assurance into everything it does and putting technology on the forefront. NYCHA’s Leased Housing Department, which oversees the Section 8 program, focused on identifying error trends and correcting them, reviewing staff performance, and retraining staff to improve accuracy rates, contributing greatly to increased scores. In 2015, staff completed more than 55,000 Housing Quality Standard inspections, recertified 79,000 households on the program and approved 35,217 increases in rent to owners.

NYCHA’s expanded use of technology has also improved customer service for both Section 8 voucher-holders and landlords. Through NYCHA’s Online Self-Service Portal, Section 8 residents can access their tenancy information and inspection status, (re)schedule inspections and make special inspection requests, and complete their annual recertification; and landlords can submit lease renewals and inspection repair certifications, apply for direct deposit payments, post vacant rental apartments, and review rent-related tenant information and service requests.