New York City, which has been seeing stubborn poverty rates, is stepping up efforts to provide low-price housing for the poor, with 640 projects all over the city as of July 2011, data from New York City Open Data and the city government show.

Most of the projects are located in The Bronx and parts of Brooklyn, which have the highest poverty rates. All these projects operate under the management of the New York City Housing Authority.

The city’s poverty rate has been holding at around 20 percent in the past seven years, far higher than the national rate of 16 percent, according to the city’s Center for Economic Opportunities and the U.S. Census Bureau.

Poverty rate rose to 21.3 percent in 2011 from 20.9 percent a year earlier, which means almost 1.8 million New Yorkers live below the annual poverty threshold of $11,720.

The poverty rate is highest among people living in rented houses under the Means Tested Program, a government scheme providing poor people with low-price housing and food stamps, according to the data of New York City’s Center for Economic Opportunities.