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New York City Housing Authority

New York City Housing Authority
Agency overview
Formed 1934 (1934)
Jurisdiction New York City
Headquarters 250 Broadway, Manhattan, NY
Employees 13,000
Agency executive
  • Shola Olatoye, Chair & CEO
Key document
Website /

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) provides housing for low- and moderate-income residents throughout the five boroughs of New York City. NYCHA also administers a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments. Many of its facilities are known popularly as "projects," or "developments." These developments are patrolled by the NYPD Housing Bureau.


  • List of properties 1
  • Governance 2
  • Operations 3
  • Statistics 4
  • History 5
  • List of chairpersons 6
  • List of notable residents 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10

List of properties


NYCHA is a Public Housing Law.[1][2] The NYCHA ("NYCHA Board") consists of seven members, of which the chairman is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Mayor of New York City, while the others are appointed for three-year terms by the mayor.[3]


The Authority is the largest public housing authority (PHA) in North America. In spite of many problems, it is still considered by experts to be the most successful big-city public housing authority in the country. Whereas most large public housing authorities in the United States (Chicago, St. Louis, Baltimore, etc.) have demolished their high-rise projects and in most cases replaced them with lower scale housing, New York's continue to be fully occupied. Most of its market-rate housing is also in high-rise buildings.

NYCHA also administers a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments. However, new applications for Section 8 have not been accepted since December 10, 2009.[4]

New York also maintains a long waiting list for its apartments. Because of demand, the Housing Authority in recent years, has selected more "working families" from applicants to diversify the income structure of occupants of its housing, as had been typical of residents who first occupied the facilities. NYCHA's Conventional Public Housing Program has 181,581 apartments (as of July 20, 2005) in 345 developments throughout the city.

NYCHA has approximately 13,000 employees serving about 176,221 families and approximately 403,120 authorized residents. Based on the 2010 census, NYCHA's Public Housing represents 8.2% of the city's rental apartments and is home to 4.9% of the city’s population. NYCHA residents and Section 8 voucher holders combined occupy 12.4% of the city's rental apartments.[5]

In mid-2007, NYCHA faced a $225 million budget shortfall.


  • 344 developments in New York City
  • Staten Island has 10 developments with 4,499 apartments
  • Queens has 22 developments with 17,126 apartments
  • The Bronx has 100 developments with 44,500 apartments
  • Brooklyn has 98 developments with 58,669 apartments
  • Manhattan has 102 developments with 53,890 apartments[6]
  • The Brownsville section of Brooklyn now has the highest concentration of low income public housing in America, following the demolition of a huge 5-mile long tract of public housing stretching along State and Federal on Chicago's South Side. While pre-Plan For Transformation Chicago Housing Authority high-rise developments tended to be much larger and more concentrated than those of the NYCHA, the NYCHA operates several times as many apartments and houses three times as many residents. East Harlem in Manhattan has the second highest concentration of public housing in the nation, closely following Brownsville.
  • The Queensbridge Houses in Long Island City, Queens, is now North America's largest housing project with 3,142 apartments, following the demolition of several larger Chicago housing projects, including the Cabrini–Green Homes and the Robert Taylor Homes (whose 4,321 three, four and five bedroom apartments once made it the largest public housing project in the world).[7]
  • The Bronx's largest development is Edenwald Houses in Edenwald with 2,036 apartments.
  • Brooklyn's largest development is Red Hook Houses in Red Hook with 2,878 apartments.
  • Manhattan's largest development is Baruch Houses on the Lower East Side with 2,391 apartments
  • Staten Island's largest development is Stapleton Houses in Stapleton with 693 apartments.[8]
  • 10 developments consisting of FHA Acquired Homes are located in more than one borough and total 200 apartments
  • 42 developments are for seniors only; 15 seniors-only buildings exist within mixed-population developments
  • NYCHA has approximately 9,822 apartments designated for seniors only
  • There also are 7,639 retrofitted apartments for families of persons who are mobility impaired as of September 30, 2007
  • As of October 1, 2007: Two developments are at least 70 years old; a total of 13 developments are at least 60 years old; there are 62 developments 50 to 59 years old; another 76 developments are 40 to 49 years old, and 95 developments are 30 to 39 years old.
  • The combined demographics of all public housing developments in New York City is about 46% Black, 44% Hispanic, 4% White, 5% Asian, and 1% other.[9]


NYCHA was created in 1934. At the end of 1935, NYCHA dedicated its first development, called First Houses, located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The Authority boomed in partnership with Robert Moses after World War II as a part of Moses' plan to clear old tenements and remake New York as a modern city. Moses indicated later in life that he was disappointed at how the public housing system fell into decline and disrepair. Originally intended for working families, the projects increasingly became occupied by low-income families, many of whom had no working adult. The majority of NYCHA developments were built between 1945 and 1965. Unlike most cities, New York depended heavily on city and state funds to build its housing, rather than just the federal government. Most of the postwar developments had over 1000 apartment units each, and most were built in the modernist, tower-in-the-park style popular at the time.

In 1995, the New York City Housing Authority Police Department, along with the New York City Transit Police, was merged into the New York City Police Department by New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and continues today as the New York City Police Department Housing Bureau.

List of chairpersons

List of notable residents

See also


  1. ^ Public Housing Law § 401; "The New York City Housing Authority is hereby constituted and declared to be a body corporate and politic with all the powers, rights and duties set forth in article five of the former state housing law." Municipal Housing Authorities Law (L. 1934, ch. 4), comprising §§ 60–78 of the former State Housing Law (L. 1926, ch. 823, as re-enacted by L. 1927, ch. 35), now the Public Housing Law (L. 1939, ch. 808).
  2. ^ Bass v. City of New York, 38 AD2d 407 (2nd Dept 1972).
  3. ^ Public Housing Law § 402(3)
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ Barry, Dan. "Don't Tell Him the Projects Are Hopeless", The New York Times, March 12, 2005. Accessed July 16, 2008. "UP, up, up it rises, this elevator redolent of urine, groaning toward the rooftop of another tired building in the Queensbridge public housing development, the largest in Queens, in New York, in North America."
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links

  • NYCHA website
  • La Guardia and Wagner Archives/New York City Housing Authority Collection
  • New York City Housing Authority collected news and commentary at The New York Times
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