In January, the City of New York and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) published a landmark Draft Plan for Where We Live NYC.

Where We Live NYC has been a multi-year collaborative planning process aimed at assessing and addressing fair housing challenges citywide through an innovative and community-driven process unlike any other in a major U.S. city. Hester Street worked closely with HPD to ensure that the process centered on underrepresented low-income communities, communities of color, the disability community, immigrant groups and LGBTQ populations throughout the planning and engagement stages.

To better understand how challenges like segregation, racism and discrimination impact the lives of everyday New Yorkers, Hester Street developed a unique and creative engagement toolkit and inclusive process that included over 60 Community Conversations across all 5 NYC boroughs in 15 different languages. More than 700 New Yorkers from 112 zip codes helped informed the next chapter of fair housing policy for our city through these conversations. The input gathered during the engagement process directly impacted the City’s development of its fair housing goals in this draft plan and its future strategies for confronting segregation, fighting discrimination and increasing opportunity for all.

“Truly transformative policy is driven by the people. Where We Live NYC was driven by community-based organizations throughout the five boroughs – neighborhood leaders who work with the people most impacted by segregation and discrimination. Hester Street was thrilled to support the CBOs at the heart of this effort and excited about what this kind of participatory policy making can mean for the future of an equitable city. Hats off to HPD for working in true collaboration with NYC communities,” said Betsy MacLean, Co-Executive Director, Hester Street.

Access the findings from our Community Conversations here and view the City’s Draft Plan here. Read the City’s full press release on the news here.