Hester Street (HST) led public engagement for Where We Live NYC, a City-led collaborative planning process to better understand how fair housing challenges like segregation and discrimination impact New Yorker’s everyday lives. In order to conduct deep engagement on difficult subjects such as segregation and the legacy of racist policies and practices, HST developed a multi-faceted, de-centralized engagement approach. We partnered with 13 trusted community-based organizations to host conversations with a diverse cross-section of residents across the five boroughs. These partner organizations have long-standing relationships with specific communities most affected by historic and present day injustices, and include:

Ali Forney Center
Arab American Association NY
Asian Americans for Equality
Banana Kelly Community Improvement Association
Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled
Center for Court Innovation
Center for Independence of the Disabled NY
Chhaya CDC
Fifth Avenue Committee
Make the Road New York
Neighbors Together
SAGE Advocacy & Services for LGBT Elders
Sapna NYC

The data collected will be used to develop actionable policies to promote fair housing, confront segregation, fight discrimination and advance access to opportunity for all. The resulting public report was submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in 2019.  In June 2019, HST also supported the organization of the Where We Live NYC Summit, which offered a public preview of proposed policy solutions built on community input that resulted from our neighborhood-based outreach and conversations. Throughout the process, our partners held 62 Community Conversations engaging 500+ New Yorkers from 112 zip codes, with 52% of the conversations held in languages other than English. 

For more information, read the City’s final plan (published October 2020) here and visit the Where We Live NYC website.