The Community District Needs Process

Pulaski Park in Bronx Community District 1. This park was renovated after the Community Board identified it as a need. Credit: NYC Parks / Daniel Avila
Pulaski Park in Bronx Community District 1. This park was renovated after the Community Board identified it as a need. Credit: NYC Parks / Daniel Avila

Every year, New York City’s 59 local Community Boards prepare a “Community District Needs” (CD Needs) statement identifying the funding priorities for their districts.

These statements are key to informing the City’s neighborhood and infrastructure planning and the equitable and efficient delivery of services to communities citywide. City agencies must respond to community board budget requests in the City’s annual budget.

The Department of City Planning provides resources, including training sessions, to support community boards in the preparation and submission of needs statements and budget requests.

Learn more about community districts and find data about yours with Community District Profiles.

What Are Communities’ Top Needs?

The Community District Needs process asks Boards to identify the most pressing issues facing their district. "Affordable housing,” “Parks and open space,” “Land use trends,” and “Traffic” , were named as the most common pressing issues for Boards in the coming fiscal year (Fiscal Year 2023). Boards also choose their most important issues within seven policy areas, such as “health care and human services” and “public safety and emergency services.” Get more information about the needs identified by community boards for the coming fiscal year here.

The following chart shows a ranking of the top pressing issues identified by community boards for FY 2023, by borough with the total number of boards that selected each issue in 2021, 2020, and 2019.

View an interactive version of “most pressing issues” chart here. 

Most Pressing Issues Identified by Community Boards in 2021

Top City Issues
* Land use trends (zoning, development, neighborhood preservation, etc.)  
** Quality of life issues (noise, graffiti, petty crime, etc.)
Note: Numbers represent total number of community boards identifying issue; CBs identify 3 ‘pressing issues’ each
Source: FY23, FY22, and FY21 CD Needs and Budget Requests 

To read full Statements of Community District Needs, choose your district from Community District Profiles and select “Community Board.”

Community District Needs Resources

The Department of City Planning provides direct support to all community boards for the Community District Needs process:

  • Budget Requests Reference Guide: An overview of all potential budget requests community boards can make to City agencies. Updated yearly with input from agencies.
  • CD Needs Overview Handout: An overview of the CD Needs process including examples of how these statements are used, a timeline of the overall process, and links to helpful resources for community boards.
  • Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Publications Page: Visit this page to view budget documents, including the most recent register of Community Board budget requests.
  • Survey for Gathering Input About CD Needs: A printable survey that supports community boards in their independent gathering of public input from board members, district residents, and other stakeholders to inform their needs statements. The survey is now available in English, as well as the 10 designated citywide languages. This survey is intended for public use only, and results should be collected and processed independently by the person(s) issuing the survey. PDFs for download linked below.
  • Tips to Strengthen Submissions: Includes suggestions and guidelines for drafting more robust CD Needs submissions, using NYC Planning’s online tools to add data to narratives and budget requests.

Community District Needs Trainings

The Department of City Planning hosts several trainings throughout the year to support new and experienced community board members in learning more about the CD Needs process, including how to broaden and diversify input collected for submissions. You can watch recordings of two of these virtual trainings by clicking on the links below:

How do you get involved?

To learn more about community boards and how to become involved in the Community District Needs process, please contact your local board.

Find your local community board.

If you are an existing community board member, please contact your district manager for more information on how to participate in the next submission cycle.