NYCHA – Board, Residents, and
A brief history from founding to current
The Founding of
NYCHA was established on
January 20th, 1934, by New
York City Mayor Fiorello H.
On December 3rd, 1935,
First Houses became New
York’s first public housing
• First Lady Eleanor
over the ribbon
11,000 New Yorkers applied
for residency in the 123 new
The first NYCHA board
members were Langdon
Post, Louis H. Pink, B.
Charney Vladeck, Mary K.
Simkhovitch and the
Reverend E.T. Roberts
The First NYCHA Board Members
NYCHA Board Member Langdon Post
Graduated from Harvard.
Veteran of WWI.
New York City Assemblyman from 1928-1932.
Sponsored legislation mandating stringent upgrading of housing standards.
NYCHA Board Member Louis H. Pink
Wrote the bill that created NYCHA.
Head of the health insurance plan that later evolved into the Blue Cross.
An active member of ~15 public service organizations while on the NYCHA board.
NYCHA Board Member Baruch Charney Vladeck
Laid the ground work for the Jewish Labor Committee in 1933.
Early member of the New York City Council (elected in 1937).
NYCHA Board Member Mary K. Simkhovitch
Graduated from Boston University
Cofounded Greenwich House, a settlement house in New York City, in 1902.
Published several social welfare pieces from 1917-1949.
Became NYCHA’s first Vice-Chairman from 1934-1948.
Board member of the National Urban League for over 30 years.
NYCHA Board Member Reverend E.T. Roberts Moore
Ordained in 1919.
Pastor of Old St. Peter’s Church on Barclay Street at the corner of Church St., in Lower Manhattan from 1937 until
Concurrently a member of NYCHA’s board, and of the New York City Slum Clearance Committee.
Construction of the First Houses
Prior to the founding of NYCHA, development resulted in
the state of the backyard in the significant residential
neighborhood where the new beautification and repairs,
apartments were to be built was a increasing the quality of life for
disaster. new residents, as well the lives of
NYCHA has been housing low income New Yorkers from 1935 to the present
1952; Establishment of the Housing Police, and the creation of 47 new NYCHA
In 1995 the Housing Police merges with the NYPD, and a NYCHA drug crackdown
results in a “One Strike You’re Out” eviction policy.
July, 1977; the Authority Transfer Program transfers 11 developments to the
federal program. The ATP program now encompasses 42 former state or city
developments with a total of 48,132 units.
In October of 1986 the final phase of a development program called Bushwick
provides the last of another 1,206 apartments.
In 1998 NYCHA was housing 431,496 residents.
By April, 2006, NYCHA oversees ~21,000 non-federal housing units.
Today more than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 334 public housing
developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive
subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-
administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program.
NYCHA keeps an accurate timeline on their website at:
Points of Interest
The first elevators to see use in NYCHA units were installed in Red
Hook Houses in 1939.
In the 1940s NYCHA exclusively used coal to heat units, in an effort to
support the war effort during WWII. Environmental and practical
concerns in the 1950s caused a shift to fuel oil.
When Langdon Post was put in charge of NYCHA in 1934 he had only
14 staff members. In 6 years management staff had increased to 26,
and by the 1950s NYCHA had created over 7,000 jobs.
In 2004 NYCHA employees numbered ~14,000.
In 1998 the Quality Housing and Work Responsibility Act (QHWRA)
allowed each NYCHA household to have one animal as a pet.
Where Is NYCHA Now?
A glance at the current face of NYCHA
Current Board Members
Current NYCHA Board
Chairman John B. Rhea
Vice Chair Emily Youssouf
Board Member Margarita Lopez
Resident Board Member Victor A.
Secretary to the Board Vilma
General Manager Cecil House
John Rhea, Emily Youssouf, and Margarita Lopez are
the primary board members, responsible for voting
on contracts, resolutions, policies, motions, rules and
regulations at regularly scheduled meetings of the
Members of the Authority.
Victor Gonzalez was appointed to the board in 2011,
and is a resident of NYCHA
Current Challenges and Issues
Hurricane Sandy resulted in the failure of important NYCHA
infrastructures including power and sanitation.
Recovery efforts are still underway as NYCHA repairs and rebuilds vital services for residents.
A NYCHA resident receives much needed repairs
NYCHA board members and executives have stepped up to address complaints, and invent solutions to problems
revealed by the storm.
NYCHA maintenance and repairs on PlanNYCHA
Current progress report on cleanup and repair of NYCHA housing units
Nation-wide financial troubles and unemployment affect NYCHA’s
These issues are coupled with an increased and broadened resident population.
NYCHA challenges on PlanNYCHA
NYCHA is not in a great position to ensure jobs are available for residents, but some effort has been made to employ
those affected by hurricane Sandy.
NYCHA jobs for residents – News
A list of NYCHA’s press releases, which frequently contain information
regarding what issues NYCHA is currently addressing, is available here: