Top 10 Largest Public Housing Authorities in the USA:

There are somewhere around 3300 public housing authorities in the United States but the majority of them are extremely small with unit counts in the neighborhood of 50-1000.    Today I wanted to highlight some of the larger public housing authorities and provide back links if you want to find out more about applying for their programs.  A quick warning, this is only for hard units.  I am not factoring in housing choice vouchers. 

  1. New York City Housing Authority — 180,263 units- If you are interested in applying for housing programs, applying to work here or doing business click here-   The New York Housing Authority is like no other PHA in the USA.  It is huuuuuge!  The housing authority is actually home to 1 out of every 14 New York City residents.   The NYCHA was created in 1934 and saw a huge boom in construction under the eyes of famous city planner Robert Moses.
  2.  Puerto Rico Public Housing Administration — 55,840 units-  The administration was created in the 1970’s and replaced earlier housing administration programs.   Although this is listed under one entity, you can find dozens of municipalities on HUD’s website that actually administer programs.  Click here to find more info. 
  3. Chicago Housing Authority — 26,333 units- Chicago and Cuyahoga County Housing Authorities are actually the reason I got into public/social housing.  Chicago because of the book, “There are no children here“.  Although I linked to the book on Amazon, I do not recieve or want any commissions or kickbacks.  CHA has torn down a lot of old dangerous public housing and farms the management of these units out to four (4) different management groups.  As far as I know, application/admissions still runs through the actual PHA.  Click here for more info
  4. Philadelphia Housing Authority — 16,813 units-  The city of brotherly love ranks up there pretty high.  I just visited Philadelphia for the first time last year and fell in love.  Ok, this is not about my travels.   The PHA was established in 1937 and serves over  80,000 people.  They are doing some great redevelopment work.  The RAD plan alone is worth looking at.  Click here for more
  5. Housing Authority of Baltimore City — 12,591 units-  For some odd reason I decided to do a small blog just about the Baltimore Housing Authority last week.  Click here for a link that gives more detail and further links to the Baltimore Housing Authority’s website.
  6. Boston Housing Authority — 11,844 units-  Our friends at the Boston Housing Authority serve around 58,000 people within the city.  Like other cities on the east coast, the cost of living is crazy so their affordable housing is extremely important.  Created in 1938 federally and as a state entity in 1948, the Boston Housing Authority is considered a leader throughout the USA.  Click here to go directly to Boston’s website. 
  7. Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority — 11,258 units- I must admit I have a soft spot for this authority.  I went to grad school in Cleveland and Scott Pollock who was a wizard who once worked for CMHA spoke to my grad school class.  It was after listening to him that I decided to work in public housing.  Great people over in Cleveland both at the authority and in the city.  Visit the website here-
  8. Miami-Dade Housing Authority: — 9,503 units-  The Miami-Dade Housing Authority is quite complex and operates many programs outside of PH and HCV.  You can find out more here.  I cannot speak for the public housing program but I believe Nan-McKay might be operating parts of if not all of the HCV program.
  9. D.C. Housing Authority — 8,949 units- The DC Housing Authority is one of the largest landlords in the city and houses somewhere around 1/10 of the total population in DC.    Click here for more info on DC Housing
  10. Newark Housing Authority — 8,875 units-  I was a little surprised that big cities like Dallas or L.A. did not top the chart but the further west you go the heavier oriented PHAs are to vouchers.  Once in troubled state, this PHA climbed back to being a high performer.  It is worth going to the website to learn more about this transformation.  Click here to go directly to Newark Housing Authority website.

Conclusion: Did I miss something or get any of these out of order?  I know some PHAs are going through RAD which affects the size of portfolios.   I will try to do the same for HCV at another date.


One thought on “Top 10 Largest Public Housing Authorities in the USA:

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  1. where does the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles fit in? I have read that they have over 75,000 units.


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