Over the last two years, New York City has pioneered a new resident-centered approach to the PACT program (Permanent Affordability Commitment Together); NYC’s version of the federal RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) program which converts public housing developments to Project-Based Section 8 and unlocks funding for affordable housing providers to complete comprehensive renovations. For the first time, New York City public housing residents are being given an elevated role in the planning process when their homes enter the PACT program. Residents are working in direct partnership with the housing authority to evaluate proposals, interview, and select development teams from the affordable housing industry.
For the first time, NYC public housing residents are being given an elevated role in the planning process for their homes.
The PACT program offers a unique opportunity to elevate the role of residents in the strategy, scrutiny and shaping of property management. Lifting up resident leadership and expertise in management practices will not only improve the quality of life for residents, but also benefit housing providers in the day-to-day management of buildings.
Resident-oriented property management is not new. As CHPC describes in the Public Housing Revolution: Lessons from London report, affordable housing providers in the UK have been executing resident-involved property management for over 30 years. From resident board members to resident inspectors, to staff selection and independent complaint reviewers, participatory property management can ensure resident priorities are at the center of PACT long after renovations are complete.
The PACT program can elevate the role of residents in the strategy, scrutiny and shaping of their property management.
As demonstrated by the UK examples outlined in this toolkit, resident leadership can be incorporated into multiple levels of property management, creating opportunities for diverse engagement by residents. Residents can provide their insight on governing boards or panels, but may also provide essential feedback through surveys and one-off phone calls. Across all levels of engagement, UK housing providers commit resources to ensure that residents are awarded for their time and expertise.