NYCHA Proposes Voting Rules for Tenants to Choose ‘Preservation Trust’

The Housing Authority will host a series of public meetings starting Monday to seek feedback on how it plans to conduct the voting process, at which NYCHA tenants will choose whether they want their development to participate in the Preservation Trust, which officials say it will support. will help raise much-needed recovery money.

Adi Talwar

A view of NYCHA’s Wagner homes in East Harlem from the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge.

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) is proposing a series of voting procedures through which public housing tenants will vote on whether their development will participate in the Preservation Trust — which officials say will help NYCHA unlock much-needed repair funds.

The Housing Authority will collect feedback on the draft voting rules from Monday in a series of public hearings and will finalize them by the end of the year, with the actual vote expected to take place in early 2023. mandated by state law passed in June, authorizing the creation of the Trust, a newly formed public benefit corporation tasked with financing and overseeing renovations of approximately 25,000 NYCHA apartments, allowed tenants to vote to participate to take.

Developments that join the Trust will transfer from the Section 9 federal housing program, NYCHA’s current funding mechanism, to Section 8, another federal housing grant worth about double (NYCHA itself is not eligible for Section 8, which is why the Trust was established, officials said). The Trust can use that additional funding to issue bonds to borrow money for capital repairs, money NYCHA desperately needs: There were more than 656,000 open work orders in the system in September, the most recent data shows.

Officials have put NYCHA’s current capital price tag at $40 billion, the result of decades of underfunding by federal, state and city governments, leaving the nation’s largest public housing authority in conditions described as “uninhabitable.” Repair needs include more than $15 billion to address mold problems alone and another $6.5 billion for heating repairs. The Housing Authority would need an additional $9.5 billion to complete the energy efficiency upgrades to meet the city’s new emissions standards, officials said.

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