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NYCHA, THE FUND FOR PUBLIC HOUSING & CUNY Launch Resident Leadership Academy to Empower Next Generation of NYCHA Resident Leaders

As part of NextGeneration NYCHA, this new program will provide training and build leadership skills for a group of 20 current and emerging NYCHA community leaders.

Participating residents, predominantly women and retirees, will earn up to 16 free college credits through the Murphy Institute/CUNY School of Professional Studies.

NEW YORK – Today, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), in partnership with the Fund for Public Housing and the City University of New York (CUNY), is launching its Resident Leadership Academy (RLA) program at the Murphy Institute/CUNY School of Professional Studies (CUNY SPS).

As part of NextGeneration NYCHA, this new program aims to develop current and emerging NYCHA resident leaders’ knowledge and skills so they can assume leadership positions within their developments and their communities and become stewards of public housing. Further, the program will deepen participants’ understanding of public housing, resident leadership processes, and community organizing in courses taught by scholars and practitioners who deal with some of the city’s most pressing issues. In addition, this valuable program will provide residents a unique pathway to higher education.

“The Resident Leadership Academy will allow this dynamic group to acquire valuable skills and knowledge to become even more effective advocates for their communities,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “We are proud to partner with the Fund for Public Housing and CUNY on this investment in the future of public housing and our city.”

“Public housing residents contribute greatly to our city. The partnership established between the Fund for Public Housing and two of New York’s greatest public institutions, NYCHA and CUNY, represent an exciting step forward as we continue innovating and improving the way public housing works,” said Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, President of the Fund for Public Housing. “Without a doubt, the Resident Leadership Academy will be critical in investing in NYCHA resident leaders who will improve the well-being of their developments and communities.”

“The Resident Leadership Academy is an exciting and vital new initiative for Resident Leaders who serve NYCHA communities. The Academy will provide residents with the skills and knowledge to become more effective in their work and to assume additional leadership positions within their development and beyond. At the same time, the Academy will provide a new pathway to higher education and an opportunity to earn college credits and credentials that can lead to upward mobility,” said Gregory Mantsios, Ph.D., Director, CUNY Murphy Institute. “CUNY and the Murphy Institute have a long history of developing such educational programs; we are proud to partner with NYCHA’s Fund for Public Housing to help develop the skills of leaders who serve the public.”

“The Resident Leadership Academy will give me the knowledge and skills I need to become an even stronger advocate for my community,” said Claudia Perez, Resident Association Treasurer at Washington Houses. “I am excited about this program and welcome the investment into NYCHA residents. I look forward to participating in this valued educational opportunity that will build stronger Resident Associations.”

After a rigorous application process, 20 residents from all five boroughs were selected to be part of this cohort. Through the Murphy Institute/CUNY SPS, participating residents will be required to complete four courses, including Public Housing, Community Organizing, Introduction to Nonprofit Leadership and a Research Seminar on Public Policy. It is expected that most residents will take one course per semester and will complete the program in two years.

The Resident Leadership Academy has been generously funded by the City of New York and the Fund for Public Housing.

The Resident Leadership Academy’s first course runs January 22 through May 24, with an orientation class today.

Our city's affordable housing stock is one of our most precious assets and our NYCHA developments are no exception,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson. “The City Council is committed to community and professional development at NYCHA, which is why the Council in partnership with the Administration is proud to have allocated $317,000 for the first-ever Resident Leadership Academy, which will give participating resident leaders the tools they need to better advocate for their developments. I want to thank Chair Olatoye for her leadership and for offering NYCHA residents the opportunity to learn, grow and give back to their neighborhood.

"I am so elated that NYCHA is launching the Resident Leadership Academy as it is a great opportunity for residents to become strong and phenomenal advocates that will represent their NYCHA Developments,” said Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Chairwoman of the Committee on Public Housing. “This will be a great way for me to work with them and hear their needs directly and together, through advocacy and cooperation, make NYCHA a much safe, clean and connected place for all New Yorkers.”

“I am pleased that the NYCHA Resident Leadership Academy will provide and expand the skills and knowledge base in developing resident leaders within the NYCHA resident community,” said City Council Member Inez Barron, Chairwoman of the Committee on Higher Education. “The importance of this academy will be tested in developing leadership skills that will directly impact the quality of life not only for our NYCHA developments, but individual advancement as well.”

“This unique partnership and training academy will give resident leaders a platform from which to develop their leadership skills and become change-makers in their communities,” said City Council Member Ritchie Torres. “I look forward to its success and to the great work the resident leaders will accomplish.”


About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 326 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. For more information, visit, and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via and

About the Fund for Public Housing
Never before has there been an organization that exists solely to address the priorities of New York City public housing communities. The Fund for Public Housing is an independent, not-for-profit organization that invests in the well-being of New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents and their communities. The Fund collaborates with public and private partners to reimagine and improve the way public housing works. For more information, visit or follow the Fund on Twitter,

About the Murphy Institute:
The Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, part of the CUNY system, located at 25 West 43rd Street in Manhattan, New York, offers higher education programs for working adults and union members, and serves as a resource center to labor, academic, and community leaders seeking a deeper understanding of labor and urban issues.
For more, visit