This City Limits video delves into the complexities of a vote that will impact Nostrand Houses tenants in the near term, and explores the choices thousands of additional public housing tenants will have to make in the coming years.
Wednesday is a monumental day for the New York City Housing Authority and residents at the Nostrand Houses in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.
For the first time, tenants will begin to vote on what they want the future of their communities and homes to look like. Over the next 30 days, residents can choose between three funding models.
One is to remain as traditional Section 9 public housing, another is to opt for private management under the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program, and a third is to join the New York City Public Housing Preservation Trust, a new government entity that can issue bonds to fund rehabilitation efforts.
Residents who are on a lease and are at least 18 years old can cast a ballot. In order for the vote to be valid, at least 20 percent of the eligible population must participate.
The PACT and Preservation Trust initiatives have been pitched as a way to drum up funding for tenants to get expedited repairs, and new appliances like cabinets and stoves, following decades of federal disinvestment in public housing nationally.
RSVP for Our Zoom panel on 11/9: Trust, Pact or Section 9? A City Limits Conversation on the Future of NYCHA
However, there are other considerations for residents who are making this big decision, ranging from the possibility of relocation during renovations to entering into an initiative that has yet to be tested.
Should Nostrand Houses elect the Preservation Trust, it would be the first NYCHA development to make such a transfer. The switch would involve moving apartments out of the traditional Section 9 public housing model and allowing them to access more lucrative project-based Section 8 vouchers. By 2028, the Preservation Trust aims to convert 110,000 apartments, while PACT aims to convert 62,000.
NYCHA launched a 100-day engagement process over the summer to prepare for the Nostrand vote. Last month, the authority testified to the City Council that it had made contact with 67 percent of residents through door knocks, phone calls and in-person meetings on the campus.
City Limits has also been working to inform tenants, and elevate their perspectives, some of which are featured in today’s video. Anyone eager to learn more about the ballot options, and what they could mean for Nostrand Houses and beyond, can also attend our Zoom panel discussion on Nov. 9 at 6 pm.
For the first 20 days of the vote, between Nov. 8 and Nov. 28, Nostrand residents can cast ballots either online or by mail. The remaining 10 days will have an additional option of voting in-person, at 2344 Bragg St., Apt. 1C between 12 and 8 p.m.
On the first and last days of voting, hours will be extended from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Email vote@NYCHA.nyc.gov or call 212-306-6794 for more information. Additional details can be found here.
Are you a Nostrand tenant preparing to vote this month? We want to hear from you! Submit your questions, concerns and feedback here or by emailing NYCHA@citylimits.org
This project was produced with support from the American Press Institute’s Civic Discourse and Community Voices Fund.
To reach the reporter behind this story, contact Tatyana@citylimits.org. To reach the editor, contact Emma@citylimits.org