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  • Dissecting Mayor De Blasio's Record As He Seeks Reelection

    Mayor de Blasio Chirlane McCray City Hall Reelection Parade

    Mayor Bill de Blasio & First Lady Chirlane McCray (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    As Mayor Bill de Blasio, a first-term Democrat, seeks reelection this fall, a close examination of his record is essential. De Blasio came into power promising to address inequlality in a variety of forms, including income, educational, policing, racial, and opportunity inequities he identified during his 2013 campaign. In this year's election de Blasio is running in part on his record, which is headlined by the

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  • City Hall Pushes Back on Proposal that Hits Core Tension of Housing Plan

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    City Hall ralliers with Metro-IAF-NY (photo: @NYCComptroller)


    Thousands of New Yorkers, many of them residents of public housing, braved the rain on Monday, October 9, to rally outside City Hall to push Mayor Bill de Blasio to adopt a new direction for his affordable housing plan. Their alternative proposal, which had been presented by the leading advocates to the mayor ten days prior, calls for a radical investment in building new housing for low-income families, especially seniors, which critics say has

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  • Pushing New Affordable Housing Plan, Activists Plan Massive City Hall Rally

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     De Blasio unveils his housing plan (photo: Ed Reed)


    As elected officials and candidates march in the annual Columbus Day parade on Monday, a separate gathering of members of church congregations, senior centers, schools, and homeowners associations will convene outside City Hall to present an affordable housing plan that they believe is a viable alternative to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s current program.

    The coalition of Metro Industrial Areas Foundation and East Brooklyn Congregations plans to lead 5,000 people in the rally on Monday to push the

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  • With Federal Help, A Big Project Reset Shows the Way at NYCHA

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    This is the second in a two-part series on transformations and experiments happening at NYCHA. Read part one: At NYCHA, A Small Project-High Concept Reset.

    The conversion of the Ocean Bay (Bayside) project, housing 4,000 Rockaways residents, to private management through the federal Housing and Urban Development’s Residence Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program is far advanced. Ocean Bay flooded badly during Superstorm Sandy and has been on temporary

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  • At NYCHA, A Small Project-High Concept Reset

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    Why on earth would private companies be interested in renovating and running public housing in New York? From the headlines about conditions and crime, and deferred maintenance in the billions, it is hard to imagine why private interests would want to touch a NYCHA housing project. Yet the conversion to private management is well underway and NYCHA has proposed the conversion of thousands of additional units to Section 8/private management. Two articles consider strategies underway for both small and large projects

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  • Nonprofit Linked To NYCHA Creates Crowdfunding Portal For Sustainability Projects

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    Rasmia Kirmani-Frye (photo:@Fund4PH)


    The Fund for Public Housing, a nonprofit established last year to supplement the New York City Housing Authority’s finances and services, launched an online platform this week in conjunction with ioby, a crowdfunding website, to enable NYCHA residents and

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  • Nonprofit Supporting NYCHA Adds to Early Fundraising & Programs

    NYCHA Fund for Public Housing

    Rasmia Krimani-Frye, center, at the farm at Bayview Houses


    More than a year-and-a-half after the Fund for Public Housing officially began soliciting donors, the nonprofit has raised approximately $1.5 million, according to New York City Housing Authority Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye.

    Appearing recently on the “What’s the [Data] Point?” podcast with Gotham Gazette and Citizens Budget commission, Olatoye explained that the 501(c)3, established to support NYCHA

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  • Under Trump, A Potential Silver Lining for NYCHA

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    NYCHA and the city (photo: @ZodetN)


    Since the January inauguration of Donald Trump as president, department heads and administrators throughout New York City government have been bracing for negative reverberations, with many expecting slashed federal spending and harmful policy rollbacks.

    At least one city agency sees a potential silver lining. Shola Olatoye, the chair and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) – the authority tasked with running public housing serving about 400,000 city residents – has sent a letter to the federal Department of

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  • What's The [DATA] Point? $17 Billion

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    What's The Data Point? Episode 8 -- $17 Billion, [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    For this episode of the podcast, we were joined by Shola Olatoye, chair and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), the country's largest public housing authority, with over 400,000 people residing in its thousands of units across the city. Olatoye took over at NYCHA in 2014, soon after Mayor de Blasio took office and appointed her to the position, facing

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  • Part of ThriveNYC, NYCHA Trains Staff in Mental Health First Aid

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    NYCHA community gathering at Queensbridge (Pete Mikoleski/NYCHA flickr) 


    At a recent training session, just over 35 New York City Housing Authority staff members assembled at the authority’s downtown offices last Thursday. The course, which included eight topics, was part of the city’s ThriveNYC mental health care plan, one piece of which is 2,000 NYCHA employees receiving mental health care training so that they can more carefully and helpfully interact with public housing residents who may be experiencing mental health challenges.

    The eight

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  • The Role New York's Nonprofits Play in Construction Safety

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    Construction safety rally at City Hall (photo: @Local79NYC) 


    If it seems like there has been more attention on construction safety in the city recently, it’s for good reason. According to the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health, between 2011 and 2015 the number of construction incidents that resulted in injury or death more than tripled. In the last four months, ...

  • NYCHA Shifts to Modernized Resident Funds Program

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    At a NYCHA development with CEO Olatoye (photo via NYCHA on flickr)


    In an effort to digitize its workforce and operations, the New York City Housing Authority announced a new process for allocating tenant participation funds. Beginning in January, NYCHA -- whose properties are home to about a half-million New Yorkers -- will manage funds that go to resident associations through an online system, similar to an online banking account.

    Through this new process, NYCHA will provide each resident association president with a credit card with a

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  • Nascent Fund for Public Housing Begins Building NYCHA War Chest

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    Tree-planting at NYCHA (photo via NYCHA on flickr)


    Five months after the announcement of NextGeneration NYCHA, the comprehensive overhaul plan for New York City’s troubled public housing system, the Fund for Public Housing accepted its first donation. Shola Olatoye, NYCHA Chair and CEO, and Rasmia Kirmani Frye, the founding president of the Fund, welcomed the support for the new public-private partnership that aims to “improve social service delivery and access to economic opportunity for residents.”

    In January, ...

  • On Election Day, Federal Policy & Funding Stakes High for New York City

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    Clinton & de Blasio (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be in New York City on election night, and one of them will be the next President of the United States. Through the results of the presidential election, which comes down to one native New Yorker and one New York transplant, and with the congressional elections on the ballot, there’s a great deal at stake for New York City.

    According to the fiscal year 2017 ...

  • Bill Would Prioritize Repairs at NYCHA Senior Developments

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    Council Member Torres, right (photo via NYCHA on Flickr)


    A new report by City Council Member Ritchie Torres’ office found a vast backlog in necessary repairs of sidewalks outside New York City public housing, particularly developments for senior citizens. Torres, a Bronx Democrat who chairs the Council’s Committee on Public Housing, believes this is a serious issue of public safety and will introduce a bill on Wednesday that would require the Department of Transportation to prioritize sidewalk reconstruction at senior-only developments

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  • Visit to Bronxchester Shows NYCHA in Transition, Section 8 Concerns

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    NYCHA Chair Olatoye at a NYCHA event (photo via NYCHA on Flickr)


    There are several pieces to the affordable housing puzzle in New York City. One is the city’s large public housing stock, home to about half a million people across the five boroughs. Another, at times overlapping piece is Section 8 vouchers, also known as Housing Choice Vouchers, which are federal subsidies that allow low-income tenants to live in a variety of locations, depending on where those vouchers are being accepted.

    The New

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  • NYCHA Chair Outlines Some Movement Up Steep Hill

    Shola Olatoye

    NYCHA Chair Shola Olatoye (photo: Buck Ennis)


    The head of the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), landlord to more than 400,000 New Yorkers and leader of more than 11,000 employees serving about 178,000 apartments in nearly 2,600 buildings, believes that the future of public housing in the city must be driven by the same type of innovation embodied in its early years.

    “Certainly, we must do the basics better,” said Shola Olatoye, NYCHA CEO and Chair, at a breakfast hosted by Crain’s New York Business at the New York Athletic Club on Thursday morning. “But

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  • Bills Aim to Expand NYCHA Jobs Program, Measure Impact

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    photo via NYCHA on Flickr


    City Council Member Ritchie Torres and colleagues are introducing two new bills aimed at improving conditions and outcomes for residents of the city’s public housing. About half a million people live in New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) buildings.

    Torres, a Bronx Democrat and chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing, is hoping to spearhead a citywide expansion of a jobs program offered to residents of NYCHA and also proposing that the city track the health and effects of services provided to those

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  • NYCHA's 'Core Challenge'

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    Council Member Torres & "VP Nelson" at Twin Parks West (photo via NYCHA on flickr)


    In a special edition of "Max & Murphy on Housing," our weekly discussion of New York housing politics, City Council Member Ritchie Torres joined Jarrett Murphy and me to discuss the New York City Housing Authority, or NYCHA, which Torres has oversight of as chair of the Council's public housing committee. Torres also grew up in NYCHA housing in the Bronx. The Democratic

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  • Could a Doorman Have Saved Akai Gurley’s Life?

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    A NYCHA building entrance (photo via NYCHA on flickr)


    Protests recently broke out in response to the sentencing of former police officer Peter Liang to five years of community service for the killing of Akai Gurley. Officer Liang’s criminal behavior in a stairwell in Brooklyn’s Pink Houses might have been less professional than some of his more experienced peers, but he was hardly an extreme outlier. He wasn’t even the first officer to shoot a totally innocent person by mistake during a vertical patrol. In 1994, thirteen-year-old ...

  • Making New York Public Housing Sustainable

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    (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    The New York City Housing Authority is the nation’s largest residential landlord, providing permanently affordable housing to more than 400,000 low-income New Yorkers, many of whom would be homeless without public housing.

    Like many public housing authorities around the country, NYCHA has its critics. Stories of poor living conditions, safety concerns, and health hazards often grab headlines, and rightly so. That’s why housing authority leaders must respond with real, innovative solutions to maintain a

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  • Calls for Candidates to Address Urban Issues in Presidential Race

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    Workers at a NYCHA building (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    For the first time in decades, New York has become a competitive battleground in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. As the race heats up in this delegate-rich state, the two Democratic candidates, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State and New York Senator Hillary Clinton, have ramped up their outreach, particularly in New York City, home to millions of Democrats.

    Each side has

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  • Wary of Gentrification, East Harlem Braces for Rapid Change

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    Hank Prussing's mural, The Spirit of East Harlem (via @ManhattanCB11)


    Pearl Barkley moved to East Harlem in the 1950s, when she was six years old. Her family lived in the Jefferson Houses on 115th Street, where she lives today and works as an organizer with Community Voices Heard, an economic justice advocacy non-profit.

    “Many people remember the fires, the abandoned boarded up buildings, and the people who left,” Barkley said in an interview. Essential services began disappearing from the

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  • Wary of Gentrification, East Harlem Braces for Change

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     Mark-Viverito at an East Harlem planning session (photo: William Alatriste)


    CONTINUED from page 1 - this is page 2 of 2

    Community calls for community planning
    City officials have not yet presented a timeline, much less a plan, for rezoning East Harlem, but that hasn’t stopped residents from preemptively organizing against “upzoning” that they believe will accelerate displacement of

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  • The Week That Was in New York Politics, Dec 7-11

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    photo: Stanley Kubrick via Museum of the City of New York


    Gotham Gazette's Week in Review, Friday 

    PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Mayor de Blasio signs legislation creating the city's new Department of Veterans' Services, via Joe Bello, @NYMetroVets

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