In 2021, members of NHN came together to investigate how our neighbors at Ocean Bay Houses were faring since converting to the RAD/PACT program in 2016. News articles had reflected poorly on outcomes, highlighting high rates of evictions and continued repair issues, and even less transparency around maintenance than under NYCHA. Meanwhile, concerns were flaring up in other parts of the city, and in other cities as well like Baltimore and Minneapolis. Yet, elected officials were silent on the matter, and more so, hadn’t truly investigated residents’ experiences of the program. So we partnered with a doctoral student to carry out our own inquiry.

What we did:

From November 2021 to January 2022, NHN in the Rockaways carried out a survey of their neighbors at Ocean Bay Houses. This report summarizes our findings, and contextualizes it within the present moment of disinvestment in public housing and the growing mound of damning evidence.

What we found:

Ultimately, our inquiry is consistent with mounting evidence which finds, at the very least, that RAD does not improve living conditions for all residents equally.

Our key findings include:

  • About a quarter were unsatisfied with their housing and quality of life and would move if they could (but can’t because of affordability or friends/family).
  • 40% say conditions have gotten worse or much worse.
  • 21% said it is harder to get repairs, while 35% said it is the same.
  • 35% said there is not an easy-to-use system for submitting requests for repairs.
  • 61% said their rent has gone up.
  • 19% said management tried to evict them.
  • 18% said a neighbor they knew was threatened with eviction or evicted.
  • 35% said they now had to recertify more than once a year.
  • 64% said they now had to recertify with both NYCHA and the private management company.
  • Additional Comments on Changes
  • 29.3% noted positive changes including “cleaner”, “safer”, “improvements like painting, new cabinets, new
  • floors and repairs”, “rules now enforced” (i,e, no smoking, pick up dog waster)
  • 29.3% noted negative changes including issues with management (i.e. high staff turnover, can’t get ahold
  • of management on the phone, shut water off without warning), “stairs are locked and that’s a fire hazard”,
  • increased fees (i.e. laundry room too expensive, $15 to replace key card, $500 fine if you break a rule),
  • new restrictions on community resources (I.e. no BBQ, no community space, no decorating hallways)

This report was produced in partnership with:

  • Kimberly Comes, Redfern Houses
  • Bernard Gabriel, Beach 41st Consolidation
  • Lawanda Gainey-Johnson, Carleton Manor
  • Lorraine Evans , Beach 41st Consolidation
  • Marcia Jones , Oceanside Houses
  • Margareth Massac, Oceanside Houses
  • Ruth Pressley , Hammels Houses
  • Lakisha Ricks , Hammels Houses
  • Vernell Robinson , Carleton Manor
  • Josephine Rocheburn, Hammels Houses
  • Brenda Temple, Oceanside Houses
  • Kristen Hackett, doctoral candidate, The Graduate Center, CUNY

Read Full Report:

Categories: Research


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