FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 29, 2017
NYCHA AWARDED HIGH PERFORMER STATUS FOR SECTION 8 PROGRAM FROM HUD
NEW YORK––The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) announced today that it received the highest designation from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for outstanding performance of its Section 8 program, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher program. NYCHA administers the nation’s largest Housing Choice Voucher program in the country through its Leased Housing department.
The Housing Choice Voucher program, Section 8, is a rental subsidy that helps low-income families rent apartments on the private market. NYCHA operates the country’s largest Section 8 program with over 86,000 units across New York City, serving more than 200,000 residents and partnering with almost 26,000 landlords. The average household income for NYCHA Section 8 units is $16,460, with 73% of households earning less than 30% AMI.
“In the last two years, we have changed how we do business to meet our NextGeneration NYCHA goal to provide safe, clean and connected communities,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “I'm proud of the success of NYCHA’s Section 8 program, and we will continue working hard on behalf of the one in 14 New Yorkers who call NYCHA home, including our Section 8 residents.”
Each year, HUD reviews every Public Housing Authority’s (PHA) Section 8 program through the Section 8 Management Assessment Program as part of the annual review process. In 2015, NYCHA received its first ‘High Performer’ rating since 2004, which is the highest designation a PHA can receive. The Authority repeated its outstanding performance with another ‘High Performer’ designation for 2016. This continued high quality demonstrates the commitment from the Leased Housing department to maintaining its excellence and improving services and programming for both residents and landlords.
“New Yorkers who receive Section 8 deserve the stability of a well-run program that can increase access to opportunity” said Lynne Patton, HUD Regional Administrator for New York and New Jersey. “I’m proud to formally recognize Chair Olatoye and Executive Vice-President for Leased Housing Cathy Pennington for their innovative leadership and vision, and for their excellent results on HUD’s annual assessment for the second consecutive year.”
The recent success can be credited to the Authority’s ten-year strategic plan, NextGeneration NYCHA (NextGen). Part of NextGen, launched in May 2015, is focused on becoming a more modern and efficient operator. To support this goal, the Leased Housing department incorporated more technology to improve customer service. Through NYCHA’s Online Self-Service Portal, Section 8 residents can access their tenancy information and inspection status, (re)schedule inspections and make special inspection requests, and complete their annual recertification. Additionally, landlords can submit lease renewals and inspection repair certifications, apply for direct deposit payments, post vacant rental apartments, and review rent-related tenant information and service requests.
“With 200,000 residents in 85,000 units across the City, we must keep improving to ensure every Section 8 resident has a home they are proud of,” said NYCHA Executive Vice President for Leased Housing Cathy Pennington. “To maintain the ‘High Performer’ level for a second year in a row is a testament to our team’s dedication to NYCHA’s Section 8 residents.”
Leased Housing also undertook a concerted effort to overhaul how it determined adjusted income for residents. NYCHA implemented new software which streamlined the reviews and improved accountability. The Authority also launched a new monthly training program to focus on areas that needed more attention, retrain staff on policies and procedures and encourage small group discussions on how to identify other ways to provide better services.
About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA’s mission is to increase opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 326 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. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/nycha and for regular updates on NYCHA news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/NYCHA and www.twitter.com/NYCHA.