Activating Safe Housing in Communities
Safe and secure housing is the foundation of strong, healthy communities, and the ongoing pandemic has made more clear than ever the importance of a place to call home. When addressing a problem–such as the root causes of housing insecurity—it is crucial to include those most impacted when developing solutions.
In our work in public housing across New York City, we engage directly with residents and give decision-making power to the people. We recruit and organize leadership teams who propose solutions to challenges and learn how to access the resources needed to carry them out. This year as a part of the NeighborhoodStat citywide participatory decision-making process, almost 10,000 New York City Housing Authority residents voted on how to spend $30,000 in each of the 15 developments that are part of the Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety to improve safety and well-being in their community.
“Residents have told us many times that this is such an effective way to get their voices out there,” says Josh from our Neighborhood Safety Initiatives team in Brooklyn. “Instead of having city agencies, nonprofits, and community-based organizations take over this space, they actually get to have that power."
After the vote is tabulated, the Center will continue to work with the community to build the “social and physical programming that is going to try to address this issue that the community voted on,” says Javier, a member of the Neighborhood Safety Initiatives team in the Bronx.
In partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice’s Office of Neighborhood Safety, we have supported communities in defining what safety means and direct the spending of over $500,000 annually in funds from the Mayor’s Office to transform public spaces and design new social programs.
Housing is just one pillar of thriving communities. Everyone deserves a strong, healthy community, free from violence, and full of opportunities.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
January 15 will bring an end to a statewide eviction moratorium that has kept people safely housed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can read our message here.