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February 12, 2016

Nonprofit Aims to Raise $200 Million for N.Y. Public Housing

The New York City Housing Authority has formed a nonprofit with a goal of raising $200 million over three years to improve the lives of the city's more than 600,000 public-housing residents, reports The New York Times. 

The new Fund for Public Housing reflects longtime thinking among members of Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration, including Housing Authority Chairwoman Shola Olatoye, that the projects could appeal to poverty-conscious philanthropists. Leaders of the effort hope to tap wealthy business leaders and celebrities who grew up in New York housing projects, such as Goldman Sachs Chairman Lloyd Blankfein and rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z.

The fund received its initial gift, $100,000 from Deutsche Bank, in December. Donations will be used to update buildings in chronic disrepair and advance social and economic opportunities for residents. The city's housing system, which includes 328 developments, has $17 million in unmet capital needs and annually runs deficits in the tens of millions of dollars, but Ms. Olatoye said the fund's pitch "isn't about fixing up our buildings; it’s about the fact that one in 12 New Yorkers lives in [public] housing.”