Press Release Housing

CBC Prize for Public Service Innovation to Be Awarded to the New York City Housing Authority for Digital Initiatives

March 08, 2017
Contact: Carol Kellermann Maria Doulis
  212-279-2605, ext. 322 212-279-2605, ext. 316

New York, NY March 9, 2017 – The Citizens Budget Commission today announced that the winner of the 2017 CBC Prize for Public Service Innovation is the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) for its “NextGeneration NYCHA – Digital Initiatives.”

NextGeneration NYCHA is the 10-year strategic plan of the New York City Housing Authority, the largest public housing authority in the nation. As part of NextGeneration NYCHA, the Housing Authority has implemented several digital initiatives to increase efficiency, reduce operating costs, and improve customer service. These initiatives include the MyNYCHA App; a handheld Mobile Device for Field Staff; and Online Annual Recertification.

Launched in late 2015, the MyNYCHA App is a free downloadable application enabling NYCHA residents to file, schedule and track digitally their requests for maintenance service, which total 2,400,000 annually. The handheld Mobile Device for Field Staff seeks to eliminate the need for paper-based communications between development offices and maintenance staff, allowing staff to create, edit and close maintenance work tickets in real-time. The Online Annual Recertification enables NYCHA to verify household incomes and family information digitally.

As of December 2016, more than 59,000 residents have downloaded the app, and for the month of December MyNYCHA work orders accounted for 25 percent of the maintenance work orders created. In addition, 320,703 work orders have been closed using the handhelds; 42,302 public housing online recertifications have been processed, and more than 15,000 residents have accessed the Digital Vans. Savings already exceed $3 million annually, with service and efficiency enhanced, and there is significant potential for greater savings and improvements as the initiative scales further.

“NextGeneration NYCHA’s digital initiatives represents a transformative shift in the management of NYCHA that offers better service, greater efficiency, and financial savings,” said CBC President Carol Kellermann. “NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye and her team deserve recognition for initiating this transition and putting it on a path to maximizing scale. In so doing, they raise the prospect of further improvements through analytics that the digital tools make possible and better allocation of staff to address other pressing needs in public housing.”


About the CBC Prize for Public Service Innovation

Created in 1997, the Prize celebrates creative thinking and shares government achievements with the public and other agencies. In alternating years, it is awarded either to a New York State or a New York City agency. Each year the winner is selected from nominations requested from more than 150 government officials. The nominations are reviewed by CBC staff and a committee composed of CBC Trustees, and that committee of Trustees – co-chaired this year by Thomas J. Brodsky and Justin S. Steinberg – makes the selection.

For further information, contact Kevin Medina at or 212-279-2605 x342.


Founded in 1932, the Citizens Budget Commission is a nonpartisan, nonprofit civic organization devoted to influencing constructive change in the finances and services of New York State and New York City governments.