NYC takes step to unlock billions for renovations at NYCHA homes

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New York Construction Report staff writer

New York City Mayor Eric Adams and New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) CEO Lisa Bova-Hiatt say they are close to unlocking billions of dollars for comprehensive renovations for thousands of NYCHA residents — kicking off the resident engagement process for the first resident vote for the Public Housing Preservation Trust which will take place at Nostrand Houses in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn starting this November.

Nostrand says it has more than $600 million in capital needs and ranks in the 80th percentile of NYCHA buildings for immediate physical needs.

With NYCHA buildings needing about $80 billion, this process will give residents an opportunity to vote and determine the future of their development. Options include entering the Trust or joining the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program — both of which leverage alternative streams of funding available through the federal government — or residents can chose to maintain the traditional public housing financing model, which would make it more difficult to expedite major capital repairs.

“Every revolution has to start somewhere, and our housing revolution is going to start at Nostrand Houses in Sheepshead Bay,” said Mayor Adams. “After decades of neglect and disinvestment by the federal government, the NYCHA Trust is the tool we need to unlock billions of dollars for public housing families across the five boroughs. Just over one year ago, I stood with residents of Nostrand Houses to celebrate our success in getting the Trust passed in Albany, and, today, we are announcing that they will have the first opportunity to vote to have their homes repaired through the Trust.”

A fully public entity, the Public Housing Preservation Trust is expected to unlock billions of dollars in federal funding for renovations at NYCHA developments. Before the voting period begins, NYCHA engages resident leaders and issues a “Notice of Vote” to residents of the selected development, which includes an explanation of the purpose of the vote; the options available on the ballot; the dates, times, and locations of planned outreach meetings; access to supplementary materials; opportunities to submit questions and written comments; voting information; and more. After the notice is issued, a 100-day engagement period begins to allow for information sharing before a 30-day resident voting period.

Residents can vote online or by mail throughout the voting period, and in-person voting is available during the final 10-days of the voting period.

“Nostrand Houses was chosen to become the first public housing development to be given the chance to vote on its future,” said Karen Blondel, resident advisory board nominee, Public Housing Preservation Trust; and president, Red Hook Houses Tenant Association. “I am truly excited for the residents.”

The 30-day voting period will begin on Nov. 8, after the notice was issued this past Thursday, July 27. Once the 30-day voting period has ended, votes will be tallied and announced. No development will move forward as part of the Trust without a vote from residents to do so.

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