The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) manages 178,000 units of public housing for more than 400,000 New Yorkers across five boroughs. Despite its long history as a model public housing authority, in recent decades NYCHA has experienced a debilitating one-two punch: a massive reduction in funding and an aging housing stock. These obstacles have been exacerbated by NYCHA’s other systemic barriers: concentrated poverty, a shortage of available labor, a suboptimal management structure, and a broken foundation of trust with NYCHA’s tenants.
The Capstone team partnered with NYCHA to analyze the major challenges facing the housing authority and identify opportunities for improvement. After months of empirical research, quantitative analysis, and interviews with experts and stakeholders, the Capstone team proposed five key conclusions, each of which seeks to address NYCHA’s most pressing current and future challenges:
- the need for a reorganization of NYCHA’s property management group
- the recognition that additional funding will only be effective if it is funneled through a management structure that has been redesigned to reflect best practices and is supported by industry-standard technology
- the importance of repairing trust with residents
- the need to define what fully-funded truly means
- Finally, the need to identify new and creative sources of funding—many of which already exist but are not being deployed
Despite the uphill battle ahead, the Capstone team is confident that the right approach will enable NYCHA to return to its lauded position as a model public housing authority. Its residents deserve nothing less.