NextGeneration NYCHA Sustainability Agenda


NextGeneration NYCHA Sustainability Agenda

Mismatches Climate change
Policies and regulations Governance Data and monitoring
Promotion and production Public promotion Public-private partnerships

Main objectives of the project

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has formulated a comprehensive strategy aimed at reducing emissions across all sectors by 80% by 2050 while safeguarding 300,000 residents from the adverse effects of climate change, including heat waves, storms, and rising temperatures. To achieve this goal, the city is enacting groundbreaking policies to decarbonize energy consumption in residential buildings throughout NYC.


  • 2016: Implementation
  • 2021: Implementation


  • Promotor: New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)


Continent: North America
Country/Region: New York, United States of America


In 2016, the NextGeneration NYCHA Sustainability Agenda was crafted as a 10-year blueprint aimed at cultivating healthy and resilient homes capable of withstanding climate change impacts, while aligning with the city’s pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. This plan delineates 17 strategies to curtail NYCHA’s carbon footprint by 30% by 2025, bolster resilience, and uphold resident well-being. These strategies encompass enhancements in heating and hot water efficiency, establishment of standards for both new and existing buildings, widespread adoption of clean energy, and facilitation of residents' access to economic opportunities.

Central to this agenda are the following objectives: (1) Eliminate the root causes of mold by fixing leaks in roofs, façades, and pipes and by modernizing ventilation systems; (2) Eliminate overheating and unplanned heat and hot water outages; (3) Start on the path to meeting the City’s goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 80 percent by 2050; (4) Address climate adaptation and resiliency in all capital planning; and (4) Incorporate sustainability into day-to-day management of all properties.

Flood risk and stormwater management stand out as priorities, with resilience plans underway for all housing susceptible to coastal flooding. This includes risk evaluations and retrofit directives informed by lessons from Hurricane Sandy. The initial phase of stormwater infrastructure implementation projects holds the potential to capture approximately 72 million liters per year. Furthermore, NYCHA aims to furnish backup power for all Sandy-affected developments, establish microgrids at select developments, and install 25 MW of solar power to shield public housing residents from climate change's short- and long-term effects. These efforts involve deep retrofits to diminish energy consumption and the deployment of solar panels on residential rooftops, complementing the city’s 2025 target of 100 megawatts of solar energy for municipal buildings.

A pivotal aspect of the plan involves transitioning away from fossil fuel reliance in heating and cooking via innovative electrification solutions. Through initiatives like the Clean Heat for All challenge, manufacturers were invited to develop new cold-climate heat pumps, capable of swift installation in windows, minimizing resident disruptions. The city plans to procure 24,000 heat pumps to expedite low-cost electrification in tens of thousands of multi-family buildings, ensuring dependable heating. Additionally, geothermal energy solutions are being implemented, and gas stoves are being replaced with induction cookstoves in select buildings.

These actions not only create equitable job opportunities for public housing residents but also contribute to overhauling the city's electricity supply. More than 300 city residents have been employed to execute these initiatives, with an additional 40 enrolled in solar training programs. NYCHA is also establishing the Clean Energy Academy to train 250 residents over four years in green jobs within the solar and building decarbonization sectors.

The plan stands as a prime example of how affordable housing can fortify climate resilience in urban landscapes while promoting integration and social justice. After the success in 2016, in 2021 the strategies were updated by the new administration.