For Immediate Release: October 14, 2022
Contact: Media Inquiries | email@example.com
NYCHA Releases Draft Voting Procedures for Public Housing Preservation Trust, Opens Public Comment Period
This public comment period is to seek input on the voting process developed with a working group of resident leaders and advocates – NYCHA residents are not voting at this time whether to include their developments in the Trust.
NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) today announced the draft voting procedures for residents to opt into the Public Housing Preservation Trust and opened a public comment period. The Public Housing Preservation Trust is a fully public entity that will bring billions of dollars in comprehensive renovations to thousands of NYCHA apartments while maintaining residents’ rights (including permanently affordable rent) and keeping NYCHA properties 100 percent public.
The legislation authorizing the Trust was passed by the State Legislature and signed by the Governor in June and requires the establishment of a resident opt-in voting process, which will allow residents to decide the future of their homes. Through these procedures, NYCHA residents will vote to decide whether or not they want their development to be included in the Trust and its work to fully renovate their development’s buildings and apartments.
“For years the idea of letting NYCHA residents decide their futures was rejected time and time again, but today that changes. These draft voting procedures are resident and community driven and will finally put residents in the driver’s seat,” said Chief Housing Officer Jessica Katz. “Whether it is the Preservation Trust or PACT, residents have options, but they do not have to sacrifice their rights in exchange for the long overdue repairs and quality of living they deserve. The Adams Administration stands with residents and will continue to advocate for their voices to be heard at every stage.”
“Establishing the Trust was the first step in a resident- and stakeholder-driven process that has the potential to bring substantive change for residents and for future generations," said NYCHA Interim Chief Executive Officer Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “This public comment period is the next step in ensuring residents are leading the way in providing for their needs and the needs of their homes.”
Over the past two months, NYCHA brought together resident leaders, policy advocates, and experts to develop an initial draft of the procedures for this voting process, reflecting the interests and input of the residents they represent. This advisory committee for the voting process included 10 resident leaders and three advocacy groups. They convened 11 times since late July.
“As a citywide leader, I knew it was important for me to be a voice for not only Nostrand Houses but also all other public housing residents in every development in all five boroughs,” said NYCHA Citywide Council of Presidents Brooklyn South Member and Nostrand Houses Resident Association President Barbara McFadden. “Residents will now have the ability to choose what is best for their communities and that was the selling point for me. Personally, I can see the benefits in both the Trust and RAD/PACT, but now residents have the opportunity to choose. Having three options is really powerful and I am proud to be a part of the working group that got us to this place.”
“As an affordable housing professional and TA leader, I know how important it is to provide information and involve residents early on in the decision-making process,” said Bland Houses Resident Association President Bridget Marachlian. “Our group may not have always agreed, but we came together in the end. This group, including NYCHA, had the residents’ best interest in mind when creating this draft voting procedure. I am confident that this sets us up for success.”
“When joining this group, it was very important to me that we have a draft that ensures all residents receive accurate information to make an informed decision,” said Polo Grounds Towers Resident Association President Serena Chandler. “Polo Grounds is a big development with a lot of needs and the draft voting procedure needed to reflect that. No stone was left unturned with this group. We look forward to a positive outcome for the NYCHA campuses involved in the process.”
“The creation of the draft voting process for NYCHA developments and the public comment period are critical steps toward giving NYCHA residents the autonomy to shape the future of their developments,” said State Senator Julia Salazar (D-Brooklyn), 18th State Senate District and prime Senate sponsor of the Trust legislation. “I encourage every resident to use opportunities like this public comment period to give feedback to NYCHA and learn about the proposed voting process produced by the resident-led working group.”
“From the beginning, one critical component in creating the Public Housing Preservation Trust was ensuring that NYCHA residents’ voices would be heard and that tenants would be part of the decision-making process,” said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee and prime Assembly sponsor of the Trust legislation. “These draft rules are the next important step in ensuring that this transformative legislation improves the lives of NYCHA residents for many years to come.”
The draft rules include a minimum 100-day engagement period per site prior to any voting period; a 21-day voting period that will include in-person, online or mail-in ballots for all heads of household and authorized permanent residents 18 years of age or above; a 10 percent minimum heads of household vote for the process to be valid and the vote certified; a status quo option on the ballot; and NYCHA committing to the option with the most votes from residents.
The full draft procedures are available here, and can be translated into more than 130 languages by using Google Translate at the top of the webpage with the draft voting procedures.
These are only draft procedures for the voting process – NYCHA residents are not at this point voting to decide whether to include their developments in the Trust. At this time, NYCHA is seeking input on the voting process itself: what information must be provided to residents before a vote, how this information should be provided, and how the voting process should be conducted. The goal of the draft procedures is to support residents in making informed, independent choices while also ensuring transparency and confidence regarding the resident voting process.
In accordance with the requirements of the Trust legislation, NYCHA is releasing these draft voting procedures for public comment today, on October 14, 2022. Members of the public can comment on these draft voting procedures through November 23, 2022. NYCHA will then review this feedback, make the appropriate changes, and publish the final voting procedures on December 13, 2022.
Comments on the draft voting procedures can be made by November 23 via mail, by emailing comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or at a town hall meeting. Meeting dates and other resident engagement events related to the Trust can be found here: on.nyc.gov/trust-townhalls.
For more information about the Trust, please visit on.nyc.gov/preservation-trust.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the largest public housing authority in North America, was created in 1935 to provide decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. NYCHA is home to roughly 1 in 16 New Yorkers across over 177,000 apartments within 335 housing developments. NYCHA serves over 339,000 residents through the conventional public housing program (Section 9), over 29,000 residents at developments that have been converted to PACT/RAD, and over 92,000 families through federal rent subsidies (the Section 8 Leased Housing Program). In addition, NYCHA connects residents to opportunities in financial empowerment, business development, career advancement, and educational programs. With a housing stock that spans all five boroughs, NYCHA is a city within a city.