From June 3 to June 14, 2018, CHPC, together with the Charles H Revson Foundation, had a pleasure of hosting a study trip for fourteen public policy professionals from Israel who came to learn about housing policy and neighborhood revitalization in New York City.
These professionals are part of the Rothschild – Cadets for Local Government that aims to groom and train a leadership group of professionals who are committed to lead vital change in their cities, towns, and outlying areas in Israel’s periphery. Upon completion of their graduate degrees, Cadets are placed in key positions in Arab-Israeli and Jewish-Israeli local municipalities and are trained as change agents who have a critical role to play in addressing Israel’s affordable housing crisis and declining cities.
During their visit to NYC, Cadets gained practical and useful insights into the City’s housing policy, particularly the aspects of community engagement, affordable housing finance, and operation of NYC’s rental market.
The group had a chance to explore four NYC boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, and visit more than 10 neighborhoods, including Williamsburg, Bushwick, East Harlem, Astoria, Jackson Heights, Central Harlem, Navy Green, Highbridge, and University Heights. The diversity of NYC was also explored through its varied cuisines – Mexican, Greek, Italian and Thai, among others.
Cadets learned about government housing policies by meeting the representatives of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Department of City Planning, and the Department of Homeless Services. In addition to that, they had discussions with Center for New York City Neighborhoods and NYC Housing Development Corporation to learn about their role in shaping housing policy in New York.
The group got insights into public housing and affordable housing development in the City, when they met with development firms such as Artimus, Monadnock, Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, and Workforce Housing Group. Most importantly, the mobile workshop emphasized the importance of community engagement – the group visited community organizations such as RiseBoro, Hope Community, Chhaya CDC, IMPACCT Brooklyn, and University Neighborhood Housing Program.
Other highlights included attendance of Community Board 7 Manhattan meeting, visit of Carmel Place and Artimus construction site in Chelsea.
During the wrap-up meeting, Cadets spoke about the importance of community development, and nonprofit and philanthropic involvement in housing policy in NYC – they decided it would be something they are eager to explore when designing housing policy for Israeli municipalities.
This visit was a part of CHPC Connect program designed to give the opportunity for practitioners and policymakers from other cities to gain practical and useful insights into NYC’s experience that will help them to develop their own solutions and strategies. Previously, CHPC Connect has organized programs for groups from many countries, including Israel, UK, Austria, and Germany.