NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development

Affordable Housing

How well do our new services help New Yorkers understand the affordable housing system?

Partners and Sponsors
NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Parsons DESIS Lab
Rockefeller Foundation

THE PROJECT

Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers apply for government-subsidized housing units each year. But at the time we launched this program, in 2012, it was not unusual for more than half the applicants for a particular development to be ineligible for the unit they were applying for. Working with agency staff, housing developers, community-based organizations, and members of the public, we collaboratively developed a set of new informational materials about the affordable housing process. Crucially, we also designed three new community-based, public/private distribution channels for New Yorkers to access affordable housing information in the context of their daily lives.

THE OUTCOME

Pilot testing and evaluation of the new materials and distribution channels demonstrated the success of these new services: Of more than 2,000 New Yorkers surveyed, an overwhelming majority said the new materials helped them understand the affordable housing application process and increased their awareness of affordable housing opportunities. The informational materials have been translated into six languages, and millions of copies have been downloaded and distributed. Meanwhile, HPD has expanded the Housing Ambassador community outreach strategy and is bringing in professional design assistance on a growing range of projects.

Project Team

Liana Dragoman
Kristina Drury
Andrew Eickmann
Yasmin Fodil
Kaja Kühl
Ben Winter