Community Conversations on Smoke-Free NYCHA
By Marvin Jean-Jacques, Program Manager, NYCHA Health Initiatives

If you haven’t already heard, all public housing across the country—including NYCHA homes—will go smoke-free as of July 30, 2018, following a requirement from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development. Smoke-Free NYCHA is designed to create healthier homes for residents and healthier working environments for employees by reducing exposure to secondhand smoke. The program… MORE

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Housing Court 101
Development Staff Learn the Basics

NYCHA employees are getting some valuable information about housing court proceedings. This spring, Deputy General Counsel Sam Mordi, along with Landlord and Tenant Division Chief Tracy Forrest, brought some clarity to a complicated process. In nine sessions covering all five boroughs, more than 500 property managers, assistant property managers, and housing assistants got tips on… MORE

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“Serving Our Residents Is Our Mantra”
Interim Chair Brezenoff Talks Customer Service

On June 1, his first day at the Authority, Interim Chair and CEO Stanley Brezenoff dropped in on the brand-new “Exceptional Customer Service” training class at 250 Broadway. The daylong training provides regional asset managers, directors, housing managers, assistant managers, and caretakers with tools to enhance their interactions with residents as well as an opportunity… MORE

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Teamwork Is Beautiful
The St. Nicholas Houses Community Creates a Mural

With just some paint, brushes, and a can-do attitude, NYCHA staff, residents, and other members of the community created a beautiful, nature-themed mural at Manhattan’s St. Nicholas Houses. In the words of Housing Manager Vivian Sifontes: “I got my staff involved in this mural painting project – as well as our Neighborhood Coordination Officers, partners… MORE

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Learning to Move Mountains
Alex Mathew Graduates from the City’s Management Academy

Through day-long, weekly workshops each spring, the City’s Management Academy helps new and emerging leaders in city government become better managers. NYCHANow spoke with a recent graduate, Alex Mathew, Deputy Director in the Leased Housing Department, about his experience in the program. Why did you decide to participate in the Management Academy? I first learned… MORE

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REES Zone Coordinator Honored for Service to the Community

Evelyn Melendez was born and raised in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, one of the neighborhoods she serves as a REES Zone Coordinator (the others are Bed-Stuy and Bushwick). She connects residents of 30 developments to partner organizations in their communities, enabling residents to pursue careers and empower themselves and their families economically.   Her dedicated service has not… MORE

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A Rising Star at NYCHA
Polina Bakhteiarov Recognized by Real Estate Weekly

Deputy Director for Real Estate Development Polina Bakhteiarov has been recognized as one of Real Estate Weekly’s 2018 “Rising Stars of Real Estate.”   “As a public servant, I am very grateful to be recognized by the real estate industry,” Ms. Bakhteiarov told NYCHANow. “I am passionate about our work to preserve public housing and ensure… MORE

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Better Living Through Technology
Tech Tools Bring Health Improvements to NYCHA Buildings

Residents in several Manhattan and Brooklyn developments will benefit from new high-tech innovations designed to enhance their health and quality of life through improved maintenance and operations. Three companies – winners of NYCHA’s Tech Pilots competition – are each developing a program under the guidance of Capital Projects’ Energy and Sustainability Department in partnership with… MORE

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High Tech at Your Fingertips
New Computers for 5,700 Employees

The IT Department recently finished installing 5,700 new desktop computers for all NYCHA computer users. The rollout, which began at developments and concluded at the central offices, provides every computer user with upgraded technology and features. The Dell machines are outfitted with the latest Microsoft software, including Windows 10 and Office 365 programs like Word,… MORE

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Residents Can Apply Now for the NYCHA-CUNY Scholarships!
Awards $1,000 for Undergraduate Study at CUNY Colleges

NYCHA offers multiple scholarships to support our residents as they increase their income and assets through higher education. All scholarships award one-time $1,000 grants to eligible residents who are pursuing undergraduate degrees at a City University of New York (CUNY) college. NYCHA-CUNY Resident Scholarship – for NYCHA residents who are full-time undergraduates at a CUNY… MORE

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Make a Difference in Your Workplace – Join the Employee Engagement Committee
Applications due May 18

Dear Colleagues, We have extended the deadline to apply to be a member of NYCHA’s Employee Engagement Committee (EEC). Applications are due by the close of business Friday, May 18, 2018. The EEC includes employees from all levels and titles throughout NYCHA. Its purpose is to develop plans that can help all NYCHA employees work… MORE

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Employees: NYCHA’s Heart and Soul
A Message from General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo

Dear Colleagues, After a challenging couple of months and significant changes in leadership, many of you have shared your concerns and major apprehensions about the future with me. Please know, I’ve heard you and appreciate your honesty. There have been moments throughout NYCHA’s history that have tested the resiliency of this organization. Every time, our… MORE

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A WIN for Former Chair Olatoye

NYCHA’s branch of the NAACP presented former Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye with the association’s first WIN (“Women in NAACP/Women in Non-traditional Jobs”) leadership award on April 25. Branch President Lynn Spivey thanked Ms. Olatoye for her “outstanding performance and unparalleled leadership,” highlighting several of her accomplishments that align with the NAACP’s vision, including increased… MORE

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Woodson Houses Is Tops
NYCHA Recognizes Top Recycler & Eco Challenge Winners

NYCHA celebrated Earth Day by naming Woodson Houses, a development for seniors in Brooklyn, as the top recycler of all the Authority’s 325 developments. Thanks to the partnership between Woodson’s 433 residents and NYCHA staff, the development has a successful recycling program that captured over 25 percent of metal, glass, plastic, and paper recyclables in… MORE

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Cold Day, Warm Hearts
Youth Leadership Council Organizes Wellness Fair for All Ages

On a sunny, cold early April day, more than 100 people attended a Wellness Fair outside Grant Houses. Organized by the Manhattan North Youth Leadership Council (YLC) in partnership with Moshulu Montefiore Community Center and the Grant Houses Resident Association, the fair featured plenty of activities to keep warm. A “marketplace” of vendors provided information… MORE

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Electrical Connections
Fund for Public Housing Partnership Creates Careers

Nine NYCHA residents recently became members of Local Union 3 IBEW, the electrical workers’ union, with help from a new NYCHA partnership. Constellation NewEnergy, a NYCHA Energy Performance Contracts partner, worked with the Authority to offer an eight-week academic preparation course to prepare residents to take the competitive Local 3 aptitude test. The company partnered with… MORE

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A New Season Takes Root

NYCHA kicked off the start of spring by gathering more than 260 resident gardeners on April 13 at the 16th Gardening and Urban Farming Conference. Hosted at the Johnson Community Center in Harlem, the conference provides an opportunity for gardeners to stay up-to-date on horticultural and environmental practices; connect with each other; and receive supplies… MORE

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Erenisse Tavarez: NYCHA’s First Women’s History Month Awardee

Erenisse Tavarez, Acting Senior Vice President for Operations, was honored as the first-ever recipient of NYCHA’s Women’s History Month award. Chair Shola Olatoye presented the award to Ms. Tavarez along with a proclamation of gratitude from Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel, Chair of the Council’s Committee on Public Housing. “We are so honored to thank you… MORE

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Celebrating the Employees Who Support NYCHA’s Families

On March 29, the Family Partnerships Department honored NYCHA’s social workers during a lively National Social Work Month breakfast celebration at the 90 Church Street Ceremonial Room. This year’s national theme – “Social Workers: Leaders, Advocates, Champions” – reflects NYCHA’s core values and the roles that the Authority’s social workers inhabit on a daily basis.… MORE

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Reuniting Families, Reigniting Hope
Thanks to NYCHA's Family Re-entry Program

It was a celebration without titles and status, focused on families and second chances. On March 22, families, participants, and partners gathered to applaud the success of NYCHA’s Family Re-entry Program. Launched in November 2013, the Family Re-entry Program (FRP) enables people who have been recently released from incarceration to live with their families in… MORE

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300 and Counting!
Chair Olatoye’s Visit to Tilden Houses Marks a Milestone

When Mayor Bill de Blasio appointed her four years ago, NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye committed to visiting as many developments as possible to reset the relationship with NYCHA’s stakeholders. She recently visited her 300th development – Tilden Houses in Brooklyn – and to commemorate this milestone, a few of her colleagues presented Chair… MORE

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Cathy Pennington Appointed EVP of Operations
And Other Management Announcements

Cathy Pennington has been appointed Executive Vice President (EVP) of Operations. In this role, Cathy will oversee the activities of the Operations Division, comprised of approximately 8,700 staff in three divisions: Property Management, Support Services, and the NextGeneration Operations (NGO) Department. Cathy has served as Acting EVP of Operations since December 2017. She first joined… MORE

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Free Tax Prep for New Yorkers Earning $54,000 or Less
Take Advantage of Virtual VITA Today!

Many tax sites promise fast filing and instant refunds. Yet users often find that they are paying more than they thought for service and getting less in return. To ensure that you get the most from tax credits and refunds, NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability (REES) is once again offering the Virtual… MORE

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Make a Difference in Your Workplace – Join the Employee Engagement Committee

We are excited to announce the application period for the second cohort of NYCHA’s Employee Engagement Committee (EEC). This is an opportunity for NYCHA employees from all titles to help your colleagues be productive and creative in their work; enhance their own professional development; and assist NYCHA in achieving its goal of preserving public housing… MORE

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Major Study Finds Lighting Cut Crime by 39%
By Ray Molony, Lux and Lighting Magazine, March 13, 2018

In partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the New York City Police Department and the New York City Housing Authority, the scientific research team Crime Lab designed a six-month randomized controlled trial involving nearly 80 public housing developments, all of which had elevated levels of crime. About half of the developments received new,… MORE

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NYCHA Celebrates International Women’s Day

Dear Colleagues, Today is International Women’s Day, an annual commemoration to celebrate women’s accomplishments and bring worldwide attention to discrimination against women. NYCHA’s creation is in large part due to the work of larger-than-life women like Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of New York and then the United States, and Mary K. Simkhovitch, president of the… MORE

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Spotlight on IT Department Employee Nina Winer
By Jeffery Benson, Chief IT Auditor

As a member of NYCHA’s IT Project Management Office, Nina Winer knows that information security is the responsibility of every single NYCHA employee. She strives to show employees how, through careful and intelligent use of technology, we can help safeguard NYCHA’s systems and data while fulfilling our mission of providing safe, clean, and connected housing… MORE

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Sharing Success
Employees Mentor Resident Proteges

On February 22, the Authority held its first “speed mentoring” event for members of the NYCHA Youth Leadership Councils (YLC). Sixty high school students were connected to sixty mentors for a series of short and focused one-on-one conversations aimed at building their networking and public speaking skills. The mentors, who volunteered their time, included professionals… MORE

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NYCHA Youth Can Get Paid While They Learn
Through the Summer Youth Employment Program

Know any youth looking for a summer job? There are two exciting ways for young NYCHA residents to earn money while gaining important career skills through the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP). NYCHA SYEP for 14- and 15-Year-Olds NYCHA’s Summer Youth Employment Program is a lottery-based program that provides minimum wage ($13/hour) summer work assignments… MORE

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Clean, Green Comfort
$103M Investments Reduce Costs, Improve Quality of Life

Over 65,000 residents can look forward to upgrades to the lighting, heating, building ventilation, and water conservation systems at their developments. In March 2018, NYCHA will begin construction on two new Energy Performance Contracts (EPC) at 41 developments worth $103 million. The upgrades will save NYCHA $8.6 million a year and reduce energy use at… MORE

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PACT Bringing Major Renovations and Repairs for 1,700 Apartments

NYCHA has chosen three developers (see list below) to provide $300 million in repairs and renovations to 1,700 apartments at 17 developments in the Bronx and Brooklyn, improving quality of life for 4,000 residents by replacing elevators, boilers and heating systems, and renovating bathrooms and kitchens. Residents in these developments will see $316 million invested… MORE

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Apply Now for an Affordable Apartment in Harlem
Randolph Houses North Is Beautiful and Historic

Applications are being accepted now through April 6 for affordable apartments in a newly renovated building, Randolph Houses North, which was once part of the Authority’s Randolph Houses development. Through a partnership of NYCHA, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the NYC Housing Development Corporation, Trinity Financial, West Harlem Group Assistance, Red Stone… MORE

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Mayor Supports NYCHA Heat Upgrades
City Invests $200 Million for New Boilers and Heating Systems at 20 Developments

Nearly 45,000 NYCHA residents at 20 developments with chronic heat outages will see their aging boilers replaced and heating systems upgraded by 2022. Mayor Bill de Blasio pledged $200 million for repairs and new equipment, which will also save about $5 million per year in energy costs. The funding will be used to: Replace outdated boilers: 10… MORE

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Sterling Members of NYCHA’s Team
Rasmia Kirmani-Frye and Sideya Sherman Selected for Innovative Network

Rasmia Kirmani-Frye, NYCHA’s Director of Public/Private Partnerships and the President of the Fund for Public Housing, and Sideya Sherman, NYCHA’s Executive Vice President for Community Engagement and Partnerships, were among the 48 leaders selected to join the Sterling Network NYC. The first network of its kind in the city, the Network was created by the… MORE

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Pairs with Purpose
These Shoes Were Made for a Mission

In October, Deputy Director for Community Safety Strategies Andre Cirilo organized a fundraiser on Staten Island that raised more than $1,000 and collected nearly two dozen boxes of supplies for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Recently, he and members of NYCHA’s Culture & Arts Exchange employee organization partnered with Why Not Care, a… MORE

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Phishing 101
IT Training Program Educates Employees

In January, NYCHA rolled out a new cyber awareness training program. As part of the program, network users received suspicious email messages known as fake phish and then training assignments from the NYCHA Cyber Awareness Team. The Cyber Awareness Team is led by Information, Security, and Risk’s Chief IT Auditor, Jeffery Benson, and composed of… MORE

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Mayor Appoints New GM

NYCHA announced on January 22 that Michael Kelly is stepping down from his role as General Manager, effective February 22. Mayor Bill de Blasio has appointed Vito Mustaciuolo as acting General Manager while NYCHA performs a nationwide search for the position. Mustaciuolo was formerly the Deputy Commissioner for the Office of Enforcement and Neighborhood Services at the… MORE

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NYCHA Is Hiring!
Temporary & Permanent Job Opportunities Available Now

NYCHA is recruiting now for temporary and permanent positions at developments throughout the five boroughs. If you know anyone who might be interested, please have them call (212) 306-3922 or (212) 306-3608 to schedule an interview. Oil Burner Specialist (temporary position): Interested candidates may submit a cover letter and resume to www.nyc.gov/careers/search (search for JOB ID# 318197) Maintenance Worker… MORE

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NYCHA’s Youth Leaders Get Connected

Youth Leadership Council member Mya Pyle (at right in the photo above) receives a free tablet from Curtis Williams, Manager of NYCHA’s Resident Engagement Department. All 150 members of NYCHA’s 15 Youth Leadership Councils got free tablets courtesy of T-Mobile, NYCHA, and the City of New York that they can use for developing projects to help their communities. In 2016,… MORE

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Kickstart Your Career
Get Career Counseling from HR Experts

Employees seeking a new position or promotion at NYCHA can now receive individualized career counseling from an HR expert. This new service, launched January 2, provides a one-on-one assessment session covering: civil service examinations; occupational groupings; civil service titles and classification; appointment status; training and development; and promotions and other advancement opportunities. Employees can also… MORE

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The Elected Officials’ Guide to NYCHA
Intergov Ensures That Local, State, and Federal Officials Understand the Authority’s Accomplishments and Challenges

NYCHA’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations (known as “Intergov”) acts as a liaison between the Authority and elected officials at all levels (city, state, and federal). The Intergov team works with elected officials to craft legislation, organize capital funding, and make sure their constituents have safe, clean, and connected homes. Intergov partners with a variety of… MORE

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Now That’s NextGen!
Mayor’s Office Recognizes Housing Assistant for Top-Notch Customer Service

It was a typical day for Dominique Derville, a housing assistant at the CCC Walk-in Center in Brooklyn, as she cheerfully answered the questions of residents and Section 8 voucher holders and made sure they understood the information she provided. Little did she know, however, that some of these residents were really staff from the… MORE

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A Festival of Lights
NYCHA Celebrates Chanukah

Batei Tsibur, NYCHA’s organization of Jewish employees, ushered in Chanukah with its annual celebration on December 12, the first night of this eight-day “Festival of Lights.” Revelers lit the Chanukah menorah, sang traditional songs, and enjoyed refreshments and each other’s company. Batei Tsibur President Alan Pelikow discussed how Chanukah – “dedication” in Hebrew – commemorates… MORE

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