Last week, City Council speaker Christine C. Quinn and Public Housing Committee Chair Rosie Mendez presented a proposal for improving operations in the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). Quinn’s and Mendez’s proposal includes recommendations that would increase transparency by making public records easily accessible and the tracking of critical infrastructure statuses available to residents.
According to NYCHA Resident Board Member Victor Gonzalez, improving and preserving NYCHA as an organization is an imperative. “I am sure it’s all over the country but in the New York City area we have a housing issue,” he says. “Why not work with what I consider the best of affordable housing and keep it and preserve it for the future? That is now more important than ever due to the fact that we have a crisis in housing.”
NYCHA is constantly evolving and changing, which can make it easy to lose sight of ultimate goals. But Plan NYCHA, which has been dubbed the organization’s “Roadmap for Preservation,” has set out a list of ten “Core Imperatives.” These imperatives communicate long-term goals for NYCHA as a whole.
Looking at the ten core imperatives, it becomes evident that NYCHA is already working toward addressing some of Speaker Quinn’s suggestions. The fifth imperative. “Strengthen the frontline,” details how NYCHA will serve all properties and incorporate the “best practices from property management companies to provide excellent service and high quality management.”
The ninth imperative states that NYCHA will “excel in customer service,” improving communications between residents and the organization and streamlining services. In doing so, NYCHA will become more customer-focused.
Making public information more available and implementing a status tracking system for critical infrastructures are small goals that fit easily into the overarching imperatives already set out. With enough funding and support, Speaker Quinn’s proposal could certainly come to pass.