Established in 1934, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) was the first and is currently the largest public housing authority in the United States. It provides affordable housing to nearly 600,000 New Yorkers in 326 developments across the five boroughs of New York City.
NYCHA, however, faces a myriad of problems – most of which are tied to the fact that it has been chronically underfunded for years. As a result, the New Yorkers who rent apartments in NYCHA developments often have to endure environmental challenges such as mold, lead, and pests along with substandard service in terms of repairs and other basic issues.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, we spend approximately 90 percent of our lives indoors. That’s why the indoor environmental threats and other challenges that NYCHA tenants face are such a grave concern.
Building on our legacy of leadership on the indoor environment and our work in support of NYCHA residents, WE ACT for Environmental Justice launched its NYCHA Healthy Homes campaign in 2020. WE ACT is organizing NYCHA residents in preparation for the 2021 New York City Council and Mayoral races. Our goal is to mobilize and engage residents, raise awareness of the health inequities they face, and develop leaders who can advocate on behalf of the NYCHA community to ensure that protecting public housing and improving their living conditions is a top priority for the 2021 candidates.