Citizens Housing & Planning Council’s (CHPC’s) first efforts in the 1930’s focused on working with state legislators to pass an amendment to the New York State constitution, to facilitate the construction of the nation’s first public housing development: First Houses on the Lower East Side. CHPC’s archives include a multitude of records including original site plans, program analysis, and correspondence related to the creation and expansion of public housing in New York City.

Today, the public housing stock of New York City is in serious need of physical and financial repair. After decades of crippling federal subsidy cutbacks, severely deferred maintenance, and massive capital needs, New York City’s public housing is at a precipice. It is clear that new partners and ideas are necessary for NYCHA to bring its buildings back to decent condition.

Today, CHPC’s work on public housing is focused on:

  • Evaluating the public-private partnerships that will serve as a model for NYCHA’s future;
  • Showcasing lessons learned from other cities;
  • Proposing reforms to support NYCHA’s capital budget needs;
  • Creating new tenant engagement strategies

Lessons learned from Other Cities: CHPC has looked to other cities to find solutions and is committed to sharing these ideas to show that change is possible in New York. In May 2019, CHPC invited a group from the UK to share lessons from their experiences regenerating public housing in London. During their visit, CHPC hosted a public panel event entitled The Public Housing Revolution, as well as meetings with City Hall, a City Council Member, and NYCHA tenant leaders, to give NYC policy-makers and tenants the opportunity to learn about how the UK solved an even larger public housing crisis than the one New York faces today.

In December of 2019, CHPC took a group of public housing stakeholders to England to see first-hand how residents work alongside affordable housing providers and local officials to address their public housing crisis. CHPC will progress this dialogue and continue to build momentum for ideas from England by analyzing how key strategies could be applied in NYC.

New Partners for Public Housing- Evaluation of NYCHA’s Triborough Pilot Project: As an independent research organization, CHPC has set a standard for the evaluation and analysis of models to improve public housing that leverage private sector funding and capacity. CHPC’s initial analysis of the first Section 8 transfer, the Triborough project, used both building performance data and tenant surveys to evaluate the impacts of the public-private partnership.

New Resources for NYCHA- Advancing research to support additional capital funding for NYCHA: CHPC put forth a bold idea to reform New York’s Co-op & Condo Tax Abatement program to help the City pay for NYCHA’s capital needs. To better understand who currently benefits from the abatement and how to reform it, CHPC conducted extensive data analysis, which was used by the Coalition to #SAVENYCHA to support legislation that would modify the abatement and redirect $3.3 billion to NYCHA. Although legislation was not passed this year, the program will be up for reform again in 2020. Over the next year, CHPC will continue to educate stakeholders on this proposal, conduct further analysis on its potential impacts, and devise alternative reform strategies.


 Public Housing Revolution: Lessons from London Report
This report is part of a CHPC initiative to learn about how England’s public housing conditions were radically improved, by pairing the expertise of residents with the resources of the affordable housing industry, and how these principles can be applied in New York City. 

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New Partners In Public Housing: Evaluation of NYCHA’s Triborough Pilot Project
This 2018 report details the results of our evaluation of a pilot initiative that transitioned management of six Section 8 developments to a new public-private partnership and brought in $80 million for renovations.

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Co-Op & Condo Tax Abatement Reform
As part of an urgent response to support NYCHA this past year past, Citizens Housing & Planning Council put forth a bold idea to reform New York City’s Co-op & Condo Tax Abatement program to help the city pay for NYCHA’s outsized capital needs.

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EVENT: Public Housing Revolution
On May 23rd, CHPC hosted individuals who were a part of the Public Housing Revolution in the UK and inspired us to think of how change is possible for NYC!

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