NYHC was established in 1973 by Clara Fox, an icon in the affordable housing industry. In 1975, NYHC affiliated with the National Housing Conference to strengthen NYHC’s capacity to advocate for affordable housing policy in the nation’s capital as well as New York.
During its first decade, NYHC focused on national housing issues such as the expansion of federal housing programs, the preservation of public and private affordable housing developments, and additional investment in government-assisted housing and community development.
In the 1980's, as the shift in the federal government’s housing commitments placed greater importance on the states, NYHC responded by taking a direct leadership role throughout the state as well as New York City. In 1986, NYHC strongly supported the City’s 10-year, $5 billion Capital Spending Plan, and played a critical educational role in advancing the Housing New York legislation, all while vigorously advocating in Washington on behalf of New York’s needs and priorities.
In 1993, NYHC developed and co-sponsored New York’s first conference on Housing and Environmental Regulation in collaboration with The Community Preservation Corporation, Citizen’s Housing and Planning Council, the National Housing Conference and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
In 1995 and 1996, NYHC devoted a significant proportion of its resources to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposed transformation of federal housing programs. The debate and position statement NYHC generated helped to bring national attention to the potentially harmful impact of HUD’s proposals, and led to positive changes to the proposal by HUD and Congress.
Throughout the remainder of the decade, NYHC and NHC sponsored policy forums that advocated for the preservation of vital Section 8 and public housing, triggering constructive and realistic legislation in Congress. A two-year task force initiative in the late 1990s by NYHC and Citizen’s Housing and Planning Council publicly highlighted the need for a new housing program for middle-income families. The task force’s recommendations reinvigorated public awareness and public policy discussions of this important issue.
In 1999, NYHC proposed and advocated for a major state-wide multi-year housing program to create an additional 32,500 units of affordable housing for renters and homeowners. This program was designed to preserve and revitalize communities, stimulate additional private investment, retain and attract a skilled workforce, create thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in economic activity.
In 2001, in response to widespread public support for the program, NYHC advanced public policy discussions by drafting a proposed state program formatted to serve as a starting point for future legislation. NYHC formed a statewide coalition of supporters including the New York State AFL-CIO, the Long Island Housing Partnership, Associated Builders and Owners of Greater New York, New York State Rural Advocates, New York State Rural Housing Coalition, and New York State Neighborhood Preservation Coalition.
The next year, NYHC presented its City Housing Policy Position Statement to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, reviewing the status of city housing programs and recommending measures to expand and preserve the city’s affordable housing stock. Many of NYHC’s recommendations were incorporated in the Mayor’s groundbreaking New Housing Marketplace Plan to produce and preserve 65,000 units of affordable housing over five years. Mayor Bloomberg unveiled his program at the NYHC/NHC Annual Awards Luncheon in December 2002. The program met with immediate success and was expanded to 165,000 units over 10 years. The $7.5 billion program is expected to house a half million New Yorkers by 2014.
In addition, NYHC’s Task Force on City and State Programs coordinated support for its statewide program; many elements of its state proposal were included in bills introduced by the State Senate and Assembly, under the title, Comprehensive Housing Production, Preservation and Economic Stimulus Act of 2003.
NYHC’s Federal Housing Task Force focused on critical issues facing the Section 8 program and the continued loss of assisted housing stock. NYHC’s efforts to educate the affordable housing community and the public about the benefits of this proposal are ongoing.
After the passing of its founder, Clara Fox, in late 2007, NYHC undertook a structured reorganization and at the 2008 NYHC/NHC Annual Awards Luncheon announced the appointment of Judy Calogero as NYHC’s new CEO. Ms. Calogero previously served as a member of the NYHC Board of Directors and Commissioner of the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal.