pr_3-12-2019

CITY SELECTS COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS TO LEAD THE PARTNERS IN PRESERVATION PILOT PROGRAM

Partners in Preservation Pilot Program funds community-based organizations and their partners’ efforts to protect New Yorkers from tenant harassment in select areas

NEW YORK, NY [March 12, 2019] – The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and Enterprise Community Partners announce the award of $1.47 million to community-based organizations that will spearhead the City’s Partners in Preservation Pilot Program in certain districts of Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. Financing will be provided through collaboration between HDC and Enterprise, while HPD will provide programmatic oversight and jointly implement the Partners in Preservation program with the selected organizations for a period of 18 months. The selected organizations were successful applicants to the competitive Partners in Preservation Request for Proposals (RFP) issued in November 2018.

The areas covered in the pilot program are East Harlem, the Jerome Avenue section of the Bronx, as well as Inwood, Washington Heights and Marble Hill. Funding provided through the Partners in Preservation Pilot will help selected organizations develop and coordinate anti-displacement strategies with a wide range of stakeholders, including tenants, government agencies, and other local organizations not funded through the program.

The following organizations were selected:

  • In the East Harlem area: Community Voices Heard, Tenants & Neighbors, and Picture the Homeless
  • In the Jerome Avenue area: Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition and New Settlement Apartments/CASA.
  • In the Inwood, Washington Heights and Marble Hill areas: Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, Community League of the Heights, Inwood Community Services, and Goddard Riverside Community Center

 

“This administration is committed to using every tool to ensure that the people who have stuck it out in their neighborhoods are able to stay in their communities,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “Through Partners in Preservation, we are harnessing the local expertise and strong ties of the selected community-based organizations to develop and pursue a comprehensive strategy to combat displacement. I want to thank Enterprise, HDC, our local elected officials, and the selected organizations for partnering with us to protect tenants and the affordability of our neighborhoods.”

“The Partners in Preservation pilot program will harness the strength of community-based organizations and give them the tools they need to prevent displacement and preserve affordability in some of our most at-risk communities,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “We look forward to working with HPD, Enterprise, and the dedicated community partners who have been selected to launch this critical initiative.”

“The Partners in Preservation pilot program will serve as a powerful anti-displacement tool,” said Judi Kende, vice president and New York market leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “Enterprise is proud to support Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation, the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, and New Settlement Apartments/CASA’s work to prevent the loss of rent-regulated apartments and implement strategies that successfully reduce displacement triggers such as tenant harassment and unlawful evictions.”

Each pilot area will be allocated $490,000. The Partners in Preservation program will connect the organizations with government officials and community stakeholders to assist the organizations to develop:

  • A data-driven process to identify a list of rent-regulated buildings where harassment and displacement are most likely to occur. This list may include buildings with demonstrated instances of ongoing or widespread harassment and buildings where there are allegations of landlord initiated predatory tactics or illegal behaviors.
  • Tailored action plans for each identified buildings that include a range of strategies, such as code enforcement, tenant organizing and education, litigation, and legal counseling.
  • Comprehensive outreach efforts to inform tenants of their rights throughout the pilot area in addition to the work in specific problem buildings. Officials and staff will create and implement broad tenant protection, engagement, and education strategies to serve the entire pilot area.

 

"The Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition is looking forward to building on 45 years of tenant organizing and neighborhood revitalization in the Bronx as the Preservation Coordinator for the Jerome Avenue pilot area. We, along with our partner, New Settlement Apartments/CASA, are grateful to HDC, Enterprise and HPD for this anti-displacement investment and partnership at this critical time in our community. We are excited to work collaboratively to implement new anti-displacement strategies for the Jerome corridor alongside community members,” said Juan Esteban Nunez, Board President and Housing Justice Leader of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition.

“Washington Heights and Inwood represent some of the most densely populated communities of rent stabilized tenants in New York City. NMIC, CLOTH, and Inwood Community Services have provided a range of services and support to tenants in these neighborhoods for a combined 150 years. We are proud to now partner with New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation & Development, the Housing Development Corporation, and Enterprise on the Partners in Preservation initiative, which seeks to preserve affordable housing for the residents who make this community so vibrant,” said NMIC Legal Services Executive Director Maria Lizardo.

Afua Atta-Mensah, Executive Director of Community Voices Heard, said: "As one of the last neighborhoods in Manhattan with affordable rent stabilized housing stock, East Harlem tenants living in these buildings have been at enormous risk of being displaced by predatory landlords due to hypergentrification. Community Voices Heard and our partners, Tenants & Neighbors and Picture the Homeless, are looking forward to using our extensive experience organizing to build the sustained relationships and networks among rent-stabilized tenants needed to preserve these units and, thereby, the vibrant culture of East Harlem." 

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