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The Future of Public Housing: Two Models, Atlanta & New York

Thursday March 2008

Speakers: Renee Glover, CEO & Executive Director, Atlanta Housing Authority, Douglas Apple, General Manager, New York City Housing Authority
Commentator: Thomas D. Boston, Professor of Economics, Georgia Tech
Moderator: Julia Vitullo-Martin, Director, Center for Rethinking Development

NYCHA is by far the largest American housing authority, managing one out of every seven public housing units in the country. With its 343 developments holding over 178,000 units and housing slightly over 174,000 families, it owns one of every 12 rental units in the city. And the demand for its housing is impressive: Nearly 145,000 families are on its waiting list. Often called the best-managed authority in the country, NYCHA represents a centrally owned and centrally managed model for public housing. Atlanta offers a very different model. Ranked in the early 1990s as the nation’s fifth largest authority and seventh most troubled, Atlanta has been following a very different strategy from New York’s—demolishing its old projects and partnering with the private sector to develop apartments and townhouses built in vernacular architecture for a mix of tenants.