NYCHA Finalizes New Project Labor Agreement with Construction Unions


The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) finalized a new project labor agreement with the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, nailing down a new contract for the first time in nearly a decade.

The new contract establishes work rules for nearly 200 construction projects totaling $2 billion over the next three years and allows the trades to add more jobs for public housing residents, Section 8 voucher holders and other low-income New Yorkers, along with more contracting opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses, NYCHA announced Thursday. 

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“Amidst New York’s housing challenges, it is critical that NYCHA effectively and efficiently carries out its capital projects in 2024, all while generating family-sustaining union careers for hardworking New Yorkers,” Gary LaBarbera, the president of the building trades council, said in a statement. 

The last project labor agreement began on Jan. 1, 2015, and was extended several times until expiring last December. 

The new contract runs through September 2026 and covers renovations, structural repairs, alterations and rehabilitations of NYCHA property, according to a copy posted on NYCHA’s website. The terms also require the construction unions to reserve at least 50 new apprenticeship positions per year for NYCHA residents and to notify NYCHA before it opens up general recruitment for its apprenticeship programs. 

That’s in addition to the about 100 slots, or 10 percent of the union’s 1,000-person annual apprenticeship classes, for NYCHA residents required by the old contract, according to a 2015 NYCHA press release.

The new agreement also allows contractors to recruit workers outside of union hiring halls to meet the requirements for employing public housing residents or Section 8 voucher holders. These rules aim to comply with federal regulations, which require contractors working on federally funded housing projects to employ people who are either low-income, Section 8 voucher holders or public housing residents. 

“As a blue-collar mayor, but, more importantly, as a former union member, I know firsthand that unions are one of the most effective on-ramps for joining the middle class,” Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement. “With today’s agreement between NYCHA and the Building and Construction Trades Council, we are opening new avenues for economic opportunity and workforce development while advancing one of our most critical policy goals: creating and preserving affordable housing.”

Rebecca Baird-Remba can be reached at