Nycha: failure is not an option

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How is the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) tackling the challenges that threaten housing authorities across the nation? What measures have the NYCHA board members put forth to curtail issues like lower budgets, increased need, and old buildings?

Text of Nycha: failure is not an option

  • 1. What challenges face the New York City Housing Authority?How will the NYCHA board and leadership tackle these challenges?

2. Unprecedentedfinancial crisisFamilies hanging inthe balanceIncreasing relianceof NYCHA residents Aging buildings -on community andmany dating back tosocial servicethe 1930s and 40sprograms 3. Since 2002, NYCHA hasreceived $700 million less inoperating subsidies than itsfederal funding formularequires.NYCHAs capitalsubsidies have been cutby a third over the pastdecade. These crises have resulted in a structural operating deficit and a $13 billion capital shortfall through 2015. 4. With vacancy rates in New YorkCity remaining at an all-time low,the most impacted are low- tomoderate-income families.Nearly 161,000 families are on thewaiting list for public housing, andapproximately 125,000 families areon the waiting list for Section 8housing.21,936applicantsare on bothwaiting lists 5. The turnover rate in calendar year 2011 forNYCHA conventional public housing apartmentswas 3.29%. The vacancy rate of NYCHA apartments availablefor occupancy was 0.70% as of February 1, 2012. Because of the varied need priorities that comprisea familys profile and the low turnover andvacancy rates of apartments, it is virtuallyimpossible to establish an average waiting time fora family to enter conventional public housing.Some applicants can be matched up with anavailable apartment in months, while others oftenhave to wait years. 6. NYCHAs programs and services are often alifeline to residents, especially children, teens,single parent households, seniors, andfamilies in crisis; thousands of residents usethese services that directly cost NYCHA morethan $75 million, only $12 million of which isfunded by grants. 7. Recent years have More than 280,000 repairsbrought are needed citywide withunparalleled fiscal an average of eight pendingchallenges forwork orders per apartment.NYCHA as it NYCHA estimates it wouldstrives to maintain cost approximately $500and preserve itsmillion to make interior178,000 units ofrepairs to all NYCHAaffordable housing. apartments most basicneeds. Budget deficits and continued underfunding have forced the Authority to cut 11 percent of its maintenance workforce since 2005. This makes it harder for NYCHA to keep up with the pace of needed repairs at its 2,602 buildings, most of which are between 40 and 70 years old. 8. What is being done, and what more can be done to help? 9. The New York City Housing NYCHAs inventory of vacant landAuthority is working in and available development rightscoordination with the Citysprovides NYCHA with significantDepartment of Housing opportunities:Preservation and DevelopmentUnderutilized public housing(HPD) and Housing Developmentproperty can be a catalyst forCorporation (HDC) to takenew affordable developmentadvantage of the full complement ofincluding:available housing programs to Family or senior rentalachieve the Mayors goal of 6,000 housingaffordable housing units onNYCHA property. Homeownership housing Retail to meet local shoppingneeds and/or Schools and other communityfacilities Monies obtained for thisproperty will be reinvested topreserve existing publichousing. 10. NYCHA launched a repair In just 6 months, the repairtask force in June 2011 teams that includesgrouping a team of skilledcarpenters, plumbers,workers to help reduceplasterers and maintenancesignificant the backlog inworkers successfullyrepairs and to reduce waitcompleted nearly 40,000times. The team of workersrepairs, in almost 10,000targeted buildings with the apartments citywide.highest number of workBecause of this effort, thereorder repairs per were more than 90,000apartment.more repairs completed in2011 than in 2010, a six (6)percent increase. 11. NYCHA launched PlanNYCHA in 2011. PlanNYCHA is a call to actionto the public meant to outline the challenges facing public housing, andinform on ways to assist NYCHA in resolving the difficulties it is facing.Nonprofit and private sector organizations can help public housingachieve fiscal stability and strengthen NYCHA communities.As NYCHA continues to grapple with Federal budget cuts we will seek innovative newfinancing structures to best leverage available funding. NYCHA Board Member Emily Youssouf 12.