Hester Street worked in collaboration with NYCHA residents, then NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, then Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and a number of city and state officials on a working group to address the future of the Fulton Houses, Elliott-Chelsea Houses and Chelsea Addition NYCHA developments in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan.

In the fall of 2019, the Chelsea NYCHA developments faced a capital deficit of $344 million to reach a state of good repair. Currently over 5,000 people live across the developments and, without action, residents’ housing quality will continue to deteriorate further. The group launched in late October 2019 and was composed of NYCHA residents, elected officials, community representatives and housing organizations. The team at Hester Street facilitated in-person conversations with officials and developed workshop and engagement tools to prioritize community and resident participation. 

The first set of working group convenings took place in the fall of 2019 and the remaining convenings took place virtually during the fall and winter of 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the deep discussions and working sessions among the working group and the resident engagement sessions, the process established community- and resident-driven recommendations for actionable approaches to capital improvements by NYCHA that will ultimately enhance the Chelsea properties and residents’ quality of life.