With more than 420,000 residents, NYCHA has a population that surpasses Atlanta. Factor in the 232,000 people who receive Section 8 vouchers, which NYCHA oversees, and it is larger than Denver, Seattle or Boston. Despite the eternal outcry over NYCHA’s shortcomings, most agree that the neighborhoods the projects inhabit would be even worse off without them. NYCHA’s story runs counter to the city’s resurgence of the past two decades. When New York was in decline, the housing authority remained, thanks to federal largesse, a shining beacon of hope in the city even as everything around it was consumed. Now the situation has flipped. As the city swells, NYCHA has been suffering, thanks largely to neglect in Washington, where almost all of the authority’s funds come from. In many ways, the debate surrounding NYCHA mirrors those raging throughout the country over the role of government in society.