5 Large PHAs Explained in Interesting Numbers!


It is always interesting to think about some of the largest PHAs in the USA.  In reality, most of the housing authorities are very small and have somewhere in between 5-15 employees and a couple hundred vouchers and units of housing.  Lets dig into some of the bigger ones.  This is not a ranking by any certain indicator but a alternative article digging into some of the interesting numbers.

The New York Housing Authority- 13,000 Employees

This monster PHA has over a two hundred thousand vouchers while another 400,000 live in its 328 public housing developments throughout the city. It is no wonder they need a small city to staff up this organization.

Chicago Housing Authority- 58,000 total units

CHA owns over 21,000 apartments (9,200 units reserved for seniors and over 11,400 units in family and other housing types). It also oversees the administration of 37,000 Section 8 vouchers.  Quite a portfolio.  Lets remember most of the program administration is contracted out.

Los Angeles Housing Authority- 600,000 applicants when voucher wait list opened.

Can you imagine dealing with that many applications?  The wait list can only handle 20,000 people so over half a million people would be turned down in this situation.  Can you imagine turning away so many applicants that it amounts to the size of large cities?  Cleveland, Ohio has 380,000 people.  Wow!

Puerto Rico Housing Authority- 322 Separate Housing Projects

Most people do not know that Puerto Rico is one of the largest PHAs in the country.  The shear number of projects demonstrates how large their programs are.

Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles- $278,316,353 Annual Budget

Not to be outdone by the city of L.A. the county also operates massive programs.  The budget demonstrates that the leadership is running an organization that has a budget of a corporation not a PHA.  Despite the large budget, there is no doubt they are drastically underfunded in all that they are asked to do.


It is always interesting to see the different numbers that make up the PHA world.  There are obviously larger PHAs but you can get a good sense of volume by looking at different numbers.


Author: jcrites

Josh Crites is an American social housing professional with both practical and research experience. He has worked at 3 social housing companies in the USA in roles ranging from policy and operations to process improvement and strategy. Josh is a former Alexander von Humboldt German Chancellor Fellow. During that fellowship, Josh researched and worked with social housing companies in Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Scotland, England, Estonia and Spain. He is an avid writer and advocate for the provision of social housing around the world.

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