FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 7, 2023
Public Housing Preservation Trust Holds Inaugural Board Meeting
Commencement of board activities comes after establishment of board and appointment of seven board members and paves the way for the first resident votes
NEW YORK – The Public Housing Preservation Trust today held its inaugural board meeting — convening for the first time since Mayor Eric Adams and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced the establishment of the board and the appointment of six board members in May, with the announcement of a seventh appointment made yesterday. The board will oversee such matters as financing and procurement and is a critical component of the governance structure for the new public entity, which was designed to unlock billions of dollars to repair developments for NYCHA residents. The Trust was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul in June 2022 following extensive advocacy from Mayor Eric Adams and NYCHA.
“The Preservation Trust is a transformational, resident-driven opportunity to unlock billions in funding to bring housing improvements that the residents of NYCHA deserve,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development, and Workforce Maria Torres-Springer. “Today’s board meeting builds off the hard work and advocacy of the larger NYCHA community and simultaneously kickstarts our bold plans to address building and resident needs in partnership with the tenants and board members.”
“As CEO of NYCHA, I know firsthand the importance of the Trust and what it could mean for the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers living in public housing,” said NYCHA CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt. “This inaugural board meeting is just the beginning of the exciting work that we will accomplish together, and I look forward to serving as Chair of the Board as we continue to bring the Trust to fruition as a means of infusing investment into our aging NYCHA developments.”
At the first meeting, operational matters were discussed including the adoption of bylaws, key policies, and organizing resolutions. The board being in place is essential to the work that lies ahead and paves the way for the first resident votes through the Trust.
State law outlines a nine-member board for the Trust; the outstanding positions must be filled with two nominees from the Citywide Council of Presidents (CCOP). Remaining members will be seated expeditiously when nominations are received.
As Deputy Mayor of Housing, Economic Development and Workforce, Maria Torres-Springer has been seated on the board in an ex officio capacity.
Legislation dictates that quorum is achieved with five members, enabling the board to commence official duties and activities while awaiting remaining appointments.
Existing board members are:
Lisa Bova-Hiatt, Board Chair; CEO, NYCHA (ex officio)
Karen Blondel, Resident Advisory Board Nominee; President, Red Hook West Houses Tenant Association
Baaba Halm, Member At-Large; Vice President and New York Market Leader, Enterprise Community Partners
Maria Torres-Springer, Deputy Mayor for Housing, Economic Development and Workforce (ex officio)
Annika Lescott-Martinez, Chief Financial Officer, NYCHA (ex officio)
Barbara McFadden, Resident At-Large; President, Nostrand Houses Tenant Association; and Vice Chair, NYCHA Citywide Council of Presidents
Pamela Campbell, Labor Nominee; Assistant Superintendent, NYCHA, Retired
The first board meeting is the latest milestone to be achieved since the legislation was signed into law. The Trust comes at a time when NYCHA faces tens of billions of dollars in capital needs following decades of federal disinvestment and the voting process will be the first of its kind to empower public housing residents to have a direct vote in the future of their homes — enabling them to choose between joining the Trust, Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT), or remaining in Section 9. A vote administrator will oversee this process, with the selection of the first site to hold a vote expected to come this summer. As a fully public entity, the Trust will bring billions of dollars in federal funding to finance comprehensive renovations for thousands of NYCHA apartments, while always maintaining residents’ rights — including permanently affordable rent and keeping NYCHA properties 100-percent public.