The Legal Aid Society is encouraging Nostrand Houses residents in Brooklyn to participate in an ongoing vote that is taking place from now through Dec. 7, 2023.
The vote will determine whether the public housing complex joins the New York City Housing Authority Public Housing Preservation Trust, undergoes a PACT conversion to Section 8 funding, or stays in the Section 9 public housing program.
Back in June 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul signed the New York City Public Housing Preservation Trust into law, establishing a state entity with the power to issue bonds.
The legislation allows NYCHA to transfer up to 25,000 public housing units to the Trust, subject to resident votes — with Nostrand Houses being selected as the first development to undergo this vote.
According to the Legal Aid Society, the transfer over to the Trust would enable NYCHA to shift funding from Section 9 to Section 8, which would allow the city program to leverage resources for critical repairs at Nostrand Houses.
Since 2017, NYCHA has used another program, known as Permanent Affordability Commitment Together (PACT), to address repair needs at its public housing developments. Under PACT, NYCHA also converts funding to Section 8.
The Legal Aid Society says that both the Public Housing Preservation Trust and PACT aim to generate funds for NYCHA's public housing repairs, addressing long-standing funding gaps from Congress.
Under both the Trust and PACT, the legal services nonprofit adds that housing residents would also maintain several rights and protections, such as rents capped at 30% of income, lease renewal rights, and protections against administrative termination of tenancy, among others.
“We hope that residents at Nostrand feel empowered to make an informed choice about how their development will be funded and managed going forward,” said Lucy Newman, staff attorney with the Civil Law Reform Unit at The Legal Aid Society. “We urge all residents to vote, and regardless of the outcome of the vote, all tenants at Nostrand have the right to live in homes that are healthy, safe and habitable.”
Nostrand Houses residents can vote either by mail, online, or in person at the voting office — located at 2344 Bragg Street, Apt. 1C.