NYC Housing Authority Initiatives Pave the Way for New Affordable Units

In an attempt to renew and revitalize public housing developments in New York City, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John B. Rhea announced a series of initiatives meant to generate more revenue for the Housing Authority. The first project announced by Chairman Rhea calls for at least 1,000 permanently affordable housing units for low- and moderate-income families, without displacing any NYCHA residents

In an attempt to renew and revitalize public housing developments in New York City, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John B. Rhea announced a series of initiatives meant to generate more revenue for the Housing Authority. The first project announced by Chairman Rhea calls for at least 1,000 permanently affordable housing units for low- and moderate-income families, without displacing any NYCHA residents.

The new market-rate and affordable housing facilities would be built on NYCHA-owned sites not currently occupied by residential structures and would also include ground floor retail and commercial spaces. A Request of Proposals will be released in early 2013, after the list of available sites is finalized. It is estimated that this new plan will create thousands of new construction and permanent jobs in New York City.

Another proposal unveiled by Chairman Rhea refers to using $500 million from a HUD capital fund bond to cover urgent repairs and improvements at approximately 350 NYCHA-owned residential buildings in all five boroughs over the next 12 to 36 months. The amount proposed by Chairman Rhea would become available in spring 2013.

The third initiative revealed on behalf of NYCHA by Chairman Rhea involves energy audits that would be performed on several city-owned buildings over the next 18 months. By carrying out these energy performance checks, NYCHA hopes to reinforce its role as an economic activity driver and serve as a model for other landlords in the years to come. According to an official statement, the savings would be used to finance upgrades for boilers, roofs and windows for existing NYCHA developments.

Currently serving over 600,000 New Yorkers (or 2,600 apartment buildings in 334 developments across the five boroughs) through public housing and Section 8 programs, NYCHA is the biggest public housing authority in the nation and the biggest landlord in New York City. As pointed out by Chairman Rhea during his speech, three quarters of the NYCHA-owned buildings are over 30 years old and need complex repairs.

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Chart courtesy of Marcus & Millichap