More than 400,000 New Yorkers, and over 30,000 residents of the Lower East Side, call Public Housing home. In fact, the LES has one of the highest, if not the highest, concentration of public housing developments of any NYC neighborhood.
Public housing residents are subject to tremendous pressures due to the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) budgetary and other problems. Over the years, NYCHA residents have had to contend with decreases in services, increased rents and surcharges, discriminatory housing policies, and systemic abuse and harassment.
GOLES works to protect and stabilize the lives of public housing residents by empowering, educating, and organizing them to reshape housing policy. GOLES’ Public Housing Organizing is led by its Public Housing Committee, a group of GOLES members dedicated to Public Housing issues on the LES and beyond. Committee members are trained on public housing issues and processes in order to help guide GOLES’ campaign development, member leadership development, and more.
NYCHA intends to address its budget shortfall through a controversial 10-year plan called NextGeneration NYCHA. This plan proposes to create infill housing on the grounds of existing developments by leasing land to private developers, who would build market-rate housing. Given that this would have a tremendous impact on the lives of current public housing residents, GOLES is actively engaged in a long-term campaign to ensure a robust community engagement process that keeps residents fully informed of what happens with NYCHA’s Next Generation and ensures that their voices are truly taken into account.
For more information on GOLES’ organizing work as it pertains to public housing in general or NYCHA’s NextGen plan specifically, you can contact Mu’nir Smith at 212-533-2541 ext 25 or Munir@goles.org.
GOLES is also organizing public housing residents around NYCHA’s Permanent Exclusion policy. To learn more about the issue, and how to get involved, visit our Youth Organizing page.