NYCHA - Board, Residents, and Developments

Category: Education

Presentation Description

NYCHA board, residents, and developments is a brief overview of the history of the New York City Housing Development. It covers the beginnings of the project, through to current events and the NYCHA repairs currently underway following hurricane Sandy. It also takes a look at the original NYCHA board members, and links to the current board bios.


Presentation Transcript

NYCHA – Board, Residents, and Developments:

A brief history from founding to current events NYCHA – Board, Residents, and Developments

The Founding of NYCHA:

The Founding of NYCHA NYCHA was established on January 20 th , 1934, by New York City Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia. On December 3 rd , 1935, First Houses became New York’s first public housing development. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony . 11,000 New Yorkers applied for residency in the 123 new apartments . The first NYCHA board members were Langdon Post, Louis H. Pink, B. Charney Vladeck , Mary K. Simkhovitch and the Reverend E.T. Roberts Moore.

The First NYCHA Board Members:

The First NYCHA Board Members NYCHA Board Member Langdon Post Graduated from Harvard. Veteran of WWI. New York City Assemblyman from 1928-1932. S ponsored legislation mandating stringent upgrading of housing standards. NYCHA Board Member Louis H. Pink Wrote the bill that created NYCHA. Head of the health insurance plan that later evolved into the Blue Cross. An active member of ~15 public service organizations while on the NYCHA board. NYCHA Board Member Baruch Charney Vladeck Laid the ground work for the Jewish Labor Committee in 1933. Early member of the New York City Council (elected in 1937). NYCHA Board Member Mary K. Simkhovitch Graduated from Boston University Cofounded Greenwich House, a settlement house in New York City, in 1902. Published several social welfare pieces from 1917-1949. Became NYCHA’s first Vice-Chairman from 1934-1948. Board member of the National Urban League for over 30 years. NYCHA Board Member Reverend E.T. Roberts Moore Ordained in 1919. Pastor of Old St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street at the corner of Church St., in Lower Manhattan from 1937 until his death . Concurrently a member of NYCHA’s board, and of the New York City Slum Clearance Committee.

Community Improvements:

Prior to the founding of NYCHA, the state of the backyard in the neighborhood where the new apartments were to be built was a disaster. Construction of the First Houses development resulted in significant residential beautification and repairs, increasing the quality of life for new residents, as well the lives of established locals. Community Improvements


Growth NYCHA has been housing low income New Yorkers from 1935 to the present day. 1952; Establishment of the Housing Police, and the creation of 47 new NYCHA jobs. In 1995 the Housing Police merges with the NYPD, and a NYCHA drug crackdown results in a “One Strike You’re Out” eviction policy. July, 1977; the Authority Transfer Program transfers 11 developments to the federal program. The ATP program now encompasses 42 former state or city developments with a total of 48,132 units. In October of 1986 the final phase of a development program called Bushwick provides the last of another 1,206 apartments. In 1998 NYCHA was housing 431,496 residents. By April, 2006, NYCHA oversees ~21,000 non-federal housing units. Today more than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 334 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. NYCHA keeps an accurate timeline on their website at:

Points of Interest:

Points of Interest The first elevators to see use in NYCHA units were installed in Red Hook Houses in 1939. NYCHA Elevators In the 1940s NYCHA exclusively used coal to heat units, in an effort to support the war effort during WWII. Environmental and practical concerns in the 1950s caused a shift to fuel oil. NYCHA Heating When Langdon Post was put in charge of NYCHA in 1934 he had only 14 staff members. In 6 years management staff had increased to 26, and by the 1950s NYCHA had created over 7,000 jobs. In 2004 NYCHA employees numbered ~14,000. NYCHA Jobs In 1998 the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act (QHWRA) allowed each NYCHA household to have one animal as a pet.

Where Is NYCHA Now?:

A glance at the current face of NYCHA Where Is NYCHA Now?

Current Board Members:

Current Board Members Current NYCHA Board Members Chairman John B. Rhea Vice Chair Emily Youssouf Board Member Margarita Lopez Resident Board Member Victor A. Gonzalez Secretary to the Board Vilma Heurtas General Manager Cecil House John Rhea, Emily Youssouf , and Margarita Lopez are the primary board members, responsible for voting on contracts, resolutions, policies, motions, rules and regulations at regularly scheduled meetings of the Members of the Authority. Victor Gonzalez was appointed to the board in 2011, and is a resident of NYCHA

Current Challenges and Issues:

Current Challenges and Issues Hurricane Sandy resulted in the failure of important NYCHA infrastructures including power and sanitation. Recovery efforts are still underway as NYCHA repairs and rebuilds vital services for residents. A NYCHA resident receives much needed repairs NYCHA board members and executives have stepped up to address complaints, and invent solutions to problems revealed by the storm. NYCHA maintenance and repairs on PlanNYCHA Current progress report on cleanup and repair of NYCHA housing units Nation-wide financial troubles and unemployment affect NYCHA’s funding. These issues are coupled with an increased and broadened resident population. NYCHA challenges on PlanNYCHA NYCHA is not in a great position to ensure jobs are available for residents, but some effort has been made to employ those affected by hurricane Sandy. NYCHA jobs for residents – News A list of NYCHA’s press releases, which frequently contain information regarding what issues NYCHA is currently addressing, is available here:



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