New York City Housing Authority tenants at the Nostrand Houses in Sheepshead Bay appear poised to join the Preservation Trust, a new funding model for public housing signed into law last year.

Scott Heins

Nostrand Houses in Brooklyn.

New York City Housing Authority tenants at the Nostrand Houses in Sheepshead Bay appear poised to join the Preservation Trust, a new funding model for public housing signed into law last year.

Officials with MK Election Services conducted a preliminary ballot count Friday, tallying paper and online ballots. They reported that 453 tenants voted in favor of the Trust. Another 163 voted to join the Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT) program, while 161 voted to remain in traditional Section 9 public housing.

Outstanding mail-in ballots will be counted this coming Thursday and official results will be released Dec. 15, according to NYCHA.  

Nostrand Houses would be the first NYCHA development to be part of the Trust.

Earlier this year, the public housing authority announced a capital need of close to $80 billion over the next 20 years. At the Nostrand Houses, the need is estimated to be $600 million.

NYCHA has introduced two initiatives to help lower its ballooning costs. In 2015, PACT launched. Under the model, a third-party developer manages the day-to-day operations of properties. To date, there are more than 37,000 units in the PACT program.

In 2022, the Trust was signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul, creating a path for developments to maintain NYCHA management while receiving funding through bonds and mortgages.

In July, tenants at Nostrand received a “Notice of Vote” informing them about a 30-day election period. 

NYCHA chose MK Election Services, a third-party vendor, to oversee the voting process. By law, at least 20 percent of heads of household must participate in the election for the vote to be valid.

During the preliminary count Friday, Caleb Kleppner of MK said that Nostrand voters had surpassed the threshold. 

“At the conclusion of the preliminary count, we recorded votes from 786 residents of Nostrand Houses. Of these, 561 votes were from heads of household at Nostrand, representing 53 percent of all heads of household,” he said. 

The Notice of Vote was followed by 100 days of engagement. At a City Council hearing in October, NYCHA testified that its outreach staff reached 67 percent of the Nostrand population through phone calls, door knocks and their on-site engagement office. 

Barbara McFadden, the tenant association president of Nostrand and a member of the Trust board, declined to comment on the preliminary outcome Friday. 

She told City Limits Thursday that she was feeling nervous and excited about the results. “The tenants were the ones who made the choice, they can’t blame anyone else but themselves because you made the vote happen, no one gave it to you,” McFadden said at the time. 

Mary Younger, a Nostrand resident who voted by mail, said Thursday that although she attended meetings during the 100 days of engagement, she still had questions lingering and chose to do her own research on the options.

Scott Heins

A flier for an outreach event about the Preservation Trust taped to the door of an apartment at the Nostrand Houses in October.

“I don’t know if it was a good decision to let the tenants vote because I don’t think they really got the understanding what each [initiative] is really about,” Younger said. 

Younger added that she felt more information was given about the Trust than about PACT, an option she preferred.

“I feel like PACT shows us what they do,” Younger said. “PACT goes in and they do the job so quickly, [public] housing goes in and they take years and years to do anything.”

NYCHA announced earlier this week that Bronx River Addition Houses, a senior complex, will be the next development to vote on the future of their homes, in early 2024.

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