Reinventing Public Housing in New York City


  • Why public housing is important and how to ensure its long-term survival
  • How partnerships can strengthen public housing
  • Ways to improve the quality of life for residents of public housing
  • How to make public housing more environmentally sound


Public housing was established decades ago to provide decent, safe,and affordable rental housing for eligible low-income families. Today the United States has about 1.2 million households living in public housing managed by approximately 3,300 public housing authorities (PHAs). At a time when other PHAs are converting their entire portfolios to Section 8 housing, the New York City Housing Authoritythe oldest in the nationis reinventing itself. Its 10-year strategy, Next Generation NYCHA, focuses on improving operations, management, sustainability, financing, energy and water efficiency, and resident initiatives, as well as expanding affordable housing. Its long-term survival in the face of continued federal cutbacks rest in part on the success of these initiatives.

What role should public housing play in maintaining and expanding the affordable housing supply? What are the impacts of an aging-in-place population, and how can these be addressed? How can the private market be used to upgrade and expand affordable housing? Should public housing land be used for mixed-income housing developments? What are strategies for better integrating public housing and its residents into their communities? What are the unique political and institutional challenges to positive change and achieving long-term health? Panelists will tackle these questions (and others) as they present challenges to and strategies for ensuring the survival and long-term health of public housing in New York City and elsewhere.