The City undertook extensive analysis and invited wide public participation to better understand how fair housing challenges like segregation, discrimination, and lack of access to thriving neighborhoods affect New Yorkers and how the City can eliminate barriers that impede fair housing. The project included several key components:
- A Fair Housing Stakeholder Group of more than 150 advocates, service providers, housing developers, researchers, and community leaders who were invited to participate in each part of the Where We Live NYC process, from understanding existing conditions to drafting goals and strategies.
- Community Conversations to learn directly from more than 700 residents across the five boroughs through 62 focus-group-style conversations in 15 different languages, hosted in partnership with community-based organizations.
- Public participation through a set of interactive online tools and public events that encouraged all New Yorkers to get involved in the fair housing planning process by sharing input online, participating in Where We Live NYC events, hosting conversations in their own communities, and learning more about fair housing rights, data, and history.
- Data analysis to deepen the City’s understanding of fair housing issues, using publicly available sources as well as administrative data from city agencies and other government partners.
- Government partnerships to evaluate existing policies and initiatives and to design new policy solutions that are both effective and feasible.
This collaborative approach was designed to ensure that the voices of residents and community leaders directly informed the City’s analysis, planning, and the creation of goals and strategies to address barriers to fair housing. The project team established five planning phases for Where We Live NYC based on a well-established problem-solving methodology.
- Organize (Summer 2017 – Spring 2018): Conduct preliminary research and organize initial meetings with government partners and the Stakeholder Group.
- Learn (Spring – Summer 2018): Discuss existing conditions with the Stakeholder Group and government partners and expand data analysis, in order to focus on the impediments that contribute most significantly and directly to fair housing challenges in New York City.
- Create (Fall 2018 – Spring 2019): Surface ideas for policy solutions based on the information and impediments prioritized in the Learn Phase.
- Finalize (Spring 2019 – Fall 2020): Collect feedback on an initial policy framework and a Draft Plan, released in January 2020.
- Implement (2020 – 2024): Implement strategies and track progress.
Through each phase, the City captured and summarized the input collected from residents and stakeholders, sharing it back with the broader public, as well as with elected officials, Community Boards, and more than 30 government partners.