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Issues & Victories

Housing



AIM Celebrates Victory in Tackling Toxic Mold, Replacement of 4,100 Apartment Windows Begins

Northwest Park Residents and AIM Organizer, Katie Ashmore, celebrate installment of new windows

After two years of fighting for better living conditions, residents of the Northwest Park apartment complex in Silver Spring celebrated the beginning of the replacement of 4,100 windows in the 75-building complex. Action in Montgomery and the property’s mostly immigrant tenants won a $2 million agreement with property management to replace the windows due to toxic mold issues that have caused asthma in some of the tenants’ children. The project will take four years to complete.



Lake County United Wins 19 Acres to Build Affordable Housing

LCU leaders gather to evaluate after the Warren Township meeting

On July 10th Lake County United leaders turned out and voted at the Warren Township Special meeting in favor of the Township selling 19 acres of vacant land, which allows Lake County United to pursue a plan to build 150 units of affordable housing.



Durham CAN Delivers Big on Affordable Housing

At the public demand of Durham CAN, the Durham City Council on Monday night awarded a $4 million grant that will allow the Durham Housing Authority to purchase Fayette Place, twenty acres of vacant and blighted land also known as Fayetteville Street Housing Project. The Housing Authority, and Campus Apartments, a Philadelphia based for-profit company which currently owns the land, have agreed to close on the deal no later than June 16th.

Since 2009, the land has remained vacant of everything but the foundations of a former public housing complex. Through careful research, CAN leaders uncovered and made public that the Durham Housing Authority had the option to buy back the land by August 6, 2017, given that contract conditions hadn't been met. Weeks after a 250-person press conference organized by Durham CAN at the site, the Durham Housing Authority declared Campus Apartments in default of the contract, beginning the process of reacquiring the land. During the most recent action attended by 560 people in April, CAN leaders secured commitments from Durham City officials to finance the purchase.



The Anti-Violence Strategy That Will Work

Rafi Peterson, Southwest Organizing Project
Dennis Ryan, Southwest Organizing Project
Nick Brunick, United Power for Action and Justice

As bullets fly and bodies drop in our city, there is much talk about how to curb the casualty count and reclaim our streets and communities.

While many decent people and groups are trying a wide range of approaches, we know of only one sure way to stop the mayhem.  Thursday evening, May 25th, we celebrated that solution, on the southwest side of the city, not far from the shooting galleries that several nearby neighborhoods have become.

It might surprise people to learn that the solution is not another city program, or social service expansion, or therapeutic response.  These services are needed but not sufficient.  We respect those who propose and implement these responses.  But our neighborhoods are laced with multiple programs and agencies.  Yet the guns keep blazing, and the young keep dying.

Thursday evening, leaders from United Power for Action and Justice and its southwest side affiliate, the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP) celebrated the completion of the first phase of an effort to rebuild the southwest side and the start of the second phase.   After several years, during which a hundred units have been renovated, we have seen striking results.  Crime is down 50%.  The two local schools in the immediate area, Morrill and Fairfield, have improved their performance -- rising from low Level 3 CPS rankings to Level 2 and Level 2+.  The school just south of the area, Marquette, has gone from Level 3 to Level 1+.  Local private contractors have followed our lead and bought and renovated other buildings in the area.

In other words, this portion of the southwest side is approaching a state of normalcy -- is being made whole.  The naysayers will say that this proves nothing, but they would be wrong.  Thirty years ago, in a community more devastated and more violent than the southwest side, community and religious leaders came together, raised funds, and began rebuilding an entire neighborhood of 300,000 souls.  The group was called East Brooklyn Congregations, the sister organization of the IAF affiliate in Cook County, United Power for Action and Justice.  Since then, EBC has built more than 4,000 homes and 2,000 apartments.  It has spearheaded the complete reconstruction of a community as hard-pressed as Englewood or the Back of the Yards.  The murder rate has fallen from a city wide high of 2,250 to a modern low of 350 -- an astonishing drop that continues.  New school campuses have been built, not closed.  New families have flooded in, not flooded out.  All the buyers and renters have been working class African Americans and Hispanics, many who lived in or near the area, not gentrifiers.

In other words, an area as large as the entire south or west sides of Chicago has been returned to a state of normalcy.  An incoming New York police chief, Ben Ward, was once asked what was the most effective crime-prevention strategy of the NYPD.  He said: "That's easy;  the Nehemiah homes."

Rebuilding and renovating every single home and building, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, is the way to stop the violence in Chicago.

On a practical level, it removes the space that criminals can use to stash drugs, lie in wait on their enemies, or hide from police.

It conveys to all existing neighbors that there is hope -- that the area is moving up, not down.  And it retains those working families that we need to make our city thrive.

It communicates to the police and other public servants that these neighborhoods are not lost causes, that they deserve to be protected and preserved, that the risks they take in doing so have purpose.

It creates blue collar jobs in the construction and renovation work and more blue collar jobs later -- shop keepers for stores for new residents, lawn service workers for those who need that service, locksmiths and others who help secure the new homes and buildings.

It delivers what every person in our fair city deserves – safe streets, an affordable home, and decent schools.

We know that this approach -- long term, deliberate, led by the parents and seniors and youth of local congregations and schools, grinding out gain after gain after gain, without the benefit of a long touchdown pass -- is not attractive to those who seek (or claim) a quick fix and magic solution.

But this is the way to rebuild Chicago.  The only impediment is private sector support to speed the work up and start on the west side as we continue to turn the southwest side around.

Read more about it here:

https://www.wbez.org/shows/wbez-updates/southwest-side-group-sees-neighborhood-reversal/0705199d-2123-4476-8b5b-7fb03378078d

http://chicagotonight.wttw.com/2017/05/26/community-initiative-reclaim-southwest-chicago-expands



UrbanMatters to Build 100 Units of Affordable Housing in DC

WIN is very excited about an upcoming development by UrbanMatters Development Partners L.L.C., WIN's affiliated housing development company. UrbanMatters collaborated with Progressive National Baptist Convention, and Atlantic | Pacific Companies to help plan and propose more needed affordable housing in DC. When completed, the project located at Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, will provide 100 units of housing for those earning up to 60% of the median area income, and pave the way for continued redevelopment of the area.

http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/100_affordable_apartments_on_nannie_helen_burroughs/12442



Washington Interfaith Network: Victory in Fight for Short Term Family Housing

WIN leaders packed local community meetings and a board of zoning hearing winning approval for the construction of 3 “short term housing” facilities (a more dignified term than family shelter).  On Wednesday April 5th, the DC Board of Zoning Adjustment unanimously voted to approve the zoning variances and exceptions for the construction of short term family housing in wards 3 and 5! This vote is a major milestone in the effort to close the dilapidated DC General Family Shelter, and helps the city to more equally share the responsibility for caring for the most vulnerable among us. With this vote, zoning has been approved in all six facilities going under construction, and the next step forward is breaking ground!



Lake County United Celebrates Completion of Fairhaven Crossing

Lake County United identified the land, secured the site, established a development team, and built the community support for a 40-unit affordable housing complex in Mundelein, IL. Over 300 Lake County United leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of Fairhaven Crossing, which will give everyone, including residents with disabilities, the opportunity to live as independently as possible.  The unit includes a community center and computer room.



Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) members fight to make DC a city that works for ALL its residents

WIN leaders packed local community meetings and a board of zoning hearing to support the construction of 3 “short term housing” facilities (a more dignified term than shelter).  DC with its high cost of living has some of the highest rates of homelessness in the nation especially for families with children.  This brings WIN one step closer to success in a 4-year campaign to close and replace the dilapidated DC General Family Shelter with smaller and safer facilities spread throughout the district.

Listen to the testimony of Mrs. Barnett who lives at DC General shelter with her husband and three young children.

Mrs. Barnett Testimony about Short Term Family Housing



UrbanMatters Completing Final Affordable Housing Units at Eden Place

UrbanMatters, an affordable housing development company co-founded by Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), is in the final stages of completing the last five units for Eden Place Phase I, a 29 unit Nehemiah home community in Washington, DC. Eden Place is comprised of 3 and 4 bedroom townhomes sold at affordable rates to first time home buyers, and is the result of a seven year long fight by WIN to get a blighted and abandoned property revitalized.



Durham CAN Wins Campaign on Affordable Housing on City Owned Lot in Downtown Durham

Durham CAN leaders demanded and won public agreement from the Durham City Council for the construction of affordable housing at a publicly owned lot located next to the Durham Station Transportation Center. At least 80% of the units built in this lot will be affordable to families at 60% AMI or below.  City Council Moves Forward with Mix-Income Project



Action In Montgomery (AIM) - A Year of Fighting in Northwest Park Results in Victory with Big Housing Improvements

Seeking redress for deplorable conditions in their apartments, tenants of Northwest Park spent the last year organizing to hold Kay Management accountable for reoccurring mold and persistent problems with rodents, bed bugs and cockroaches that have triggered or exacerbated asthma conditions. After the discovery of over 2,000 housing violations, tenants have worked to get a number of improvements, the latest of which was a commitment from Kay Management to replace all of the windows in the complex over the next four years and overhaul their policy for preventing and remediating mold.



Metro Affordable Housing Track Record



WIN Celebrates 39 New Affordable Apartment Homes

Displaying RC RC.jpg

On September 25, Urban Matters/WIN celebrated the grand opening of Eastbrooke, 39 Affordable Apartment Homes in Ward # 7 near Beulah Baptist.

Mr. Ray Nix is doing just a spectacular job developing quality housing and leading Urban Matters, which is now recognized in DC & MD as a top flight development firm.
 
Mayor Bowser and Councilmember Alexander attended the grand opening along with 50+ WIN leaders and Ward # 7 residents.



Orange County Justice United Wins Tenant Rights

Justice United leaders mobilized tenants throughout Orange County to attend three bi-lingual Fair Housing workshops and collaborate on a Bill of Rights with the UNC Legal Assistance Clinic and the County Human Relations Commission.

The resulting “Declaration of Tenants’ Rights and Responsibilities” includes a Resource Guide to help tenants find redress. JU leaders successfully petitioned the Towns of Carrboro and Chapel Hill, and the Orange County Board of Commissioners to endorse the Declaration. The Declaration has special importance in Carrboro and Chapel Hill, where a respective 64% and 52% of the total housing units are tenant occupied.

Over 150 low-income tenants were directly affected by this action. Thousands of area tenants now have documentation of their rights and responsibilities, including notation of the state statute that requires landlords to provide safe, habitable housing. Local governments heard from tenants about many of the issues they are facing, as a result, they will now be better able to assist tenants with ongoing issues and concerns.

Read more from Chapel Hill News



Metro IAF NY Wins Federal Judicial Oversight to Ensure Real Cleanup of Mold by NYCHA

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS- DEC 16

The City Housing Authority is about to come under judicial oversight to erase one of its worst plagues — creeping mold in aging apartments, the Daily News has learned. The city signed off on a consent decree Monday that will give a federal judge the ability to ensure the New York City Housing Authority finally eradicates the longstanding and dangerous condition.

The federal court intervention is seen as a game-changer in the battle to reform NYCHA’s inability to tackle an issue that affects hundreds of tenants citywide.The residents have waited in vain, sometimes for years, for NYCHA to answer requests to clean up toxic mold. Often the work was useless, with the agency painting over the mold without fixing the leak that caused it. Now, with the power of a federal court behind them, tenants and their attorneys can for the first time go directly to a judge to impose significant financial penalties on NYCHA if it doesn’t get the job done right.

Over the past year, the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, a civic group, has threatened to file suit charging the city has for years violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by housing hundreds of tenants with asthma in mold-infested units. The Monday settlement will allow a Manhattan federal judge to monitor NYCHA’s promised improvements over the next three years. 

Most important for tenants, the agreement makes mold abatement NYCHA’s top priority, with the agency committing to remedy all mold conditions — including the underlying leaky pipes — within 15 days of receiving a complaint. NYCHA must then follow up within 60 days to make sure the work was done correctly and to ensure mold and moisture “have been eliminated entirely.”

“This agreement is long in coming,” declared tenant Maribel Baez, whose asthma has been aggravated for years by mold in her Marlboro Houses apartment in Brooklyn. “My hope is that (with) Metro IAF, our lawyers and a federal court all keeping NYCHA and the city accountable, conditions for me and my fellow tenants will begin to improve.”

 

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In the News


In New York, Parishioners March On in Fight for Affordable Housing

Friday, September 22, 2017
Metro IAF NYC

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer walking with residents
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer walking with residents 

Church was held in the streets on Sunday, September 17th as hundreds of parishioners from St. Thomas Episcopal and St. Barbara’s Catholic Church participated in two overlapping processions from their worship services. Parishioners marched to empty New York City housing land and got public commitments from NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and Councilman Espinal to support EBC’s plan to build 15,000 new units of affordable senior housing. On October 9th, EBC and Metro IAF NYC will challenge Mayor de Blasio at City Hall during a 5,000 person action to launch this campaign.

Community Leader, Blanche Romey, interviewed by News 12 Brooklyn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residents march for affordable senior housing


Celebrating Organizer Leo Penta, “A Prophet of the Possible”

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
DICO

DICO held an action for Leo Penta in Berlin to celebrate his retirement from The Catholic University of Berlin. Leo remains the Director of DICO and will remain the key organizer in DICO's effort to develop 75 acres in the eastern part of Berlin. Below are the remarks of Jonathan Lange at the action.

Remarks at July 7, DICO Action:

Thirty-seven years ago, a young priest in New York decided that meaningful ministry in the then-devastated and neglected communities of East Brooklyn required -- demanded! -- a new kind of engagement.  Leo met two IAF organizers -- then-director Ed Chambers and Mike Gecan. Together with other key lay and clergy leaders, they organized a powerful Burger Platform in Brooklyn, EBC. In time, EBC, Leo and the Brooklyn leaders completely re-constructed the abandoned and under-used blocks of that area with thousands of homes for working families.  The value of those 4,000 homes and 2,000 apartments -- now equity and value retained by the African American and Hispanic buyers -- exceeds two billion dollars.

They are still building today -- on a large site called Spring Creek -- which bore, before EBC's efforts, a stunning resemblance to the land we are gathered on this evening.  It was enormous, neglected, underused.  There, like here, it took vision to imagine a whole new community of thriving individuals and families, which is emerging as we speak.

Everywhere Leo Penta has lived and worked since his Brooklyn days, he has been an evangelist of engagement and power -- a prophet of the possible. He continued to define his calling in broad and creative terms.  All of us have benefited from that.

When I needed help 25 years ago to root the Baltimore "Living Wage" campaign in the language, tradition and theology of the church, it was Leo who taught me how to do that.  When Berlin's Catholic University needed to get outside of its walls to fully teach its students, again it was Leo. And when the IAF needed to prove to itself and others that organizing universals were indeed universal, Leo proved that by introducing Community Organizing to the European Continent..

Now they tell us he is retiring, but we don't believe it. Perhaps the University has a mandatory retirement age of 65, but we don't. And Leo has so much more to do. We are so proud of our IAF brother Leo and look forward to many more years from him of practicing and teaching the art of organizing.

I personally look forward to the first ground breaking and the first house warming here on this land.  Whether one is formally religious or not, it is clear that there is a spiritual dimension -- a movement of the human spirit -- in this work.  And no person embodies that spirit more than Leo Penta.


Jersey City Together Works to Prevent a Toxic Deal for Jersey City

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Jersey City Together

On Monday, June 12th, about 50 Jersey City Together leaders launched a campaign to ensure the Bayfront Development (a 100-acre site owned by Honeywell International & the City of Jersey City on the west side) serves the real needs of the city, particularly local jobs & affordable housing. Leaders with ICO (an IAF organization like JCTogether) fought to clean this site up in the 1980s & 1990s, and JCT wants to ensure the best deal possible is created for Jersey City residents

Press: Jersey Journal, NJTV, Politico, Hudson Co View.

Link to Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjgkAkUOm30


City & State NY Recognizes EBC Leader Rev. David Brawley as Champion of Affordable Housing in East New York

Monday, June 12, 2017
EBC

"In many ways, Brawley and East Brooklyn Congregations have filled a leadership vacuum in the community that would normally fall to local elected leaders.



The results they have delivered for East Brooklyn are undeniable: construction of 3,187 ultra-affordable “Nehemiah homes” and over 1,500 apartments, including an 80-unit senior living facility; the establishment of several quality charter schools; a national campaign to persuade gun manufacturers to responsibly distribute guns; a massive push for the city to repair thousands of public housing units; and dozens of other quality-of-life accomplishments, including street repairs and clean grocery stores.



You won’t find Brawley grandstanding on the steps of City Hall or taking gratuitous shots at the mayor in a show of political strength. Brawley’s philosophy is to carefully research the issues at hand, come up with pragmatic solutions and, in kind, he expects a genuine dialogue and commitment for tangible improvements from his counterparts."


Berlin Affiliate, DICO, Pushes Local Government to Support Affordable Housing Vision

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Berlin Germany

 As part of the ongoing campaign by the three Berlin DICO-affiliates to develop large-scale affordable housing, some 90 leaders gathered on a 74-acre underutilized industrial riverfront site to envision its potential and meet the owner. The currently underused 74 acres can be transformed into a new community including some 3,200 units of housing, as well as a school, kindergardens and public spaces. DICO is pushing the Boro of Treptow-Köpenick to support its vision.  The Boro continues to oppose the project despite supporting luxury housing development in the vicinity.


WIN Leaders, Former Temple Courts Resident Share Importance of Affordable Housing in DC

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
WIN

WIN leaders, Nathan Brown and John Ducey, sat down with radio host, Kojo Nnamdi, on April 26th to discuss Temple Courts, affordable housing that was knocked down 8 years ago and still has not been rebuilt. As a former resident, Brown spoke of the importance of having a seat at the table as the developer selection process moves forward.


East Brooklyn Congregations: Leaders Demand Safety, Housing Repairs from NYCHA and Transportation Commissioner

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
DNA Info

When Brooklyn Director and his managers refused to meet with 200 NYCHA tenants from four developments because the Director’s office could not afford the one hour of overtime, residents decided to act. The action from the Director’s office demonstrated an obvious lack of respect for their tenants. Thus ensued four days of action by EBC and tenants to confront NYCHA managers.  EBC sent a delegation to the Hope Gardens development office to confront the manager for not showing-up. Fr. Hoffman led a group of 25 people, and again, the manager refused to meet with them.

The group conducted a phone bank in the lobby with tenants calling 25 executives and managers from NYCHA, starting with the Chairwoman, and asked the managers to fix the intercom at 120 Menahan Street. EBC ran this action in response to recently posted letters instructing tenants to "call-in" about an intercom that had been broken for over a decade. The logic was that if managers wanted tenants to call rather than meet face to face, that's exactly what EBC would do.

The manager eventually emerged and was furious at the scene. He and his superior offered to take individual complaints, but the group refused to be bought off.

EBC also confronted the Transportation Commissioner, Polly Trottenberg. More than 225 leaders and students from 14 institutions, including a large contingent from Epiphany Lutheran School, came out to force Trottenberg to publicly commit to meet with EBC on Thursday, May 4th.  During that meeting, EBC will continue to build a better relationship and begin to get commitments for much needed speed bumps, traffic lamps and street lamps.  

Overall, within four days, 500 leaders took action on NYCHA, transportation and sanitation.


In Fight Against Mega-Landlord, Leaders Win Long Overdue City Housing Inspections

Sunday, March 26, 2017
Jersey City

 

 

 

On Sunday, March 26th, 175+ tenant & Jersey City Together leaders gathered at St Paul's Episcopal Church to hold one of the city's largest landlords - Trendy Management - accountable. The owner, Esther Kaplan, had promised to attend, but cancelled at 12pm the day of the action. After tours of one of their buildings with leaders, press, & public officials, the city has begun systematically investigating their buildings. Inspections of the first 6 of their properties have resulted in more than 325 violations. The company owns more than 140 rent-controlled apartment buildings in Jersey City.

 

"Mold and Flooding, but no heat: Residents unite to take on Mega Landlord"

Jersey Journal (Caitlin Mota)

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2017/03/jersey_city_residents_with_no_heat_living_in_mold.html#incart_2box_hudson

 

"Jersey City Together Group helping tenants hold management company accountable"

Jersey City Independent (Ricardo Kaulessar) http://www.jerseycityindependent.com/2017/03/jersey-city-together-group-helping-tenants-hold-management-company-accountable/

 

"Mega-Landlord hit with 100+ violations after residents rally for action"

Jersey Journal (Caitlin Mota)

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2017/03/more_than_100_violations_for_mega-landlord_after_r.html#incart_river_index

 

"Here's hoping mayor keeps promise to hold mega-landlord accountable" (Op-Ed)

Op-Ed (Earl Morgan), Jersey Journal

http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/04/heres_hoping_mayor_keeps_promise_to_hold_landlord.html#incart_river_index

 

"Another 200+ violations issued to Jersey City mega-landlord"

Jersey Journal (Caitlin Mota)

http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2017/04/another_186_violations_issued_to_jersey_city_mega-.html#incart_2box_hudson

 


Metro IAF NY Wins Federal Judicial Oversight to Ensure Real Cleanup of Mold by NYCHA

Tuesday, December 17, 2013
New York Daily News

The City Housing Authority is about to come under judicial oversight to erase one of its worst plagues — creeping mold in aging apartments, the Daily News has learned.

The city signed off on a consent decree Monday that will give a federal judge the ability to ensure the New York City Housing Authority finally eradicates the longstanding and dangerous condition.

The federal court intervention is seen as a game-changer in the battle to reform NYCHA’s inability to tackle an issue that affects hundreds of tenants citywide.

 


Advocates: Pr. William communities to get $30 million for housing pilot program

Monday, June 3, 2013
The Washington Post

 

Millions in funding for a housing pilot program that would go toward restoring communities affected by the 2008 foreclosure crisis in Prince William County will be promised by two major financial institutions and a Virginia housing agency Monday, according to Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement.

Prince William suffered more than 20,000 foreclosures during the housing market collapse and was the hardest hit locality in Virginia, according to the coalition of interfaith groups, which has organized around housing issues in the county. The $30 million pilot program would buy and rehabilitate about 100 vacant, blighted townhouses and provide for 1,500 affordable rentals in some of the Prince William communities most affected by the collapse — around Dale City, Georgetown South in Manassas and Williamstown in Dumfries.

 

 


Bloomberg vows to eliminate backlog of NYCHA repairs by end of year

Friday, February 1, 2013
New York Daily News

Mayor Bloomberg promised Thursday to eliminate a stunning backlog of 420,000 public housing apartment repairs by the end of the year. But critics were skeptical the city could meet its goals. “Today marks the beginning of the end of this problem,” the mayor declared at a press conference in the Drew-Hamilton Houses in East Harlem.


Unexpected Focus at a Mayoral Forum

Friday, January 25, 2013
The New York Times

This year’s campaign for New York City mayor was expected to turn on police tactics, education policy and economic development.  On Thursday, six of the leading candidates in the race found themselves discussing something different: mold.


Mayoral Candidates Hold Public Forum

Friday, January 25, 2013
New York Daily News

Six major mayoral candidates squared off for the first time Thursday night, and all went on the attack — not against each other, but against Mayor Bloomberg.


First affordable townhome of planned 22 lowered on foundation in Jackson Hill ceremony

Saturday, January 19, 2013
The Jersey Journal

The first in a series of new townhomes in the Jackson Hill neighborhood of Jersey City was lowered onto its foundation yesterday as part of a ceremony celebrating the new affordable housing.


Public Housing Residents Claim NYCHA Just Paints Over Mold Problems

Wednesday, December 19, 2012
CBS News New York

It’s a cry for help from residents of New York City public housing. Many have been complaining about mold in their city apartments for years, but charge the New York City Housing Authority never really confronts the problem. “I’ve been having this problem over ten years now, with the mold. We [call] the complaint center, we put in a ticket and what they do is they come and they paint right over it and within three months, the mold starts to grow back again,” Rosanna De La Cuadra told 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.


NYCHA's failure to stop reoccurring mold invasion spurs suit

Tuesday, December 18, 2012
New York Daily News

The mold in public housing tenant Patricia Gorritz’s apartment got so bad for her asthmatic children, the city Health Department ordered NYCHA to clean it immediately. A year later, NYCHA has done nothing to keep the mold from coming back again and again. On Tuesday, Gorritz will join other frustrated tenants in an action against the authority for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act — on the grounds that asthma is a disability.


Nehemiah Spring Creek is New York Magazine Space of the Week

Thursday, November 8, 2012
New York Magazine

Alexander Gorlin is perhaps best known as the architect behind high-end residential constructions. He was even tasked with designing World Trade Center master planner Daniel Libeskind’s own living space. But Gorlin firmly believes in the modernist dream of the architect as an agent of social change. Just days before Sandy hit, he took me on a tour of his latest project—East New York’s Nehemiah Spring Creek—a neighborhood of prefabricated townhouses for first-time home buyers. The process starts in this Brooklyn Navy Yard factory where the houses are constructed by Capsys.


VOICE sings Bank of America’s praises in Woodbridge

Tuesday, October 2, 2012
The Washington Post

The scene at a Prince William County church Monday night may have been startling to regulators and some homeowners just a few years ago: a room full of politicians, interfaith leaders and about 700 congregants rising to their feet and praising Bank of America, once reviled by some for its banking practices.  Bank of America executive Andrew Plepler, in charge of global corporate responsibility, said the bank has been a steadfast partner of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, a coalition of more than 40 interfaith congregations that have sought to hold banks and politicians accountable for the 2008 housing crisis.


Fighting Foreclosure in Prince William County

Monday, October 1, 2012
4 NBC Washington

More than 700 people in desperate need of help packed a church in Prince William County Oct. 1 to share stories of struggle and demand help from banks.


Picture this, NYCHA tenants - now you are getting cameras!

Saturday, August 4, 2012
New York Daily News

The city's public housing honcho has thrown it in reverse — again.  NYCHA Chairman John Rhea renewed a promise Friday to install cameras in 80-plus developments by the end of next year. Two days earlier, Rhea told the Daily News there would be security enhancements at the selected housing projects, not necessarily cameras.

 


Mayor Bloomberg must face up to NYCHA’s unforgiveable failures

Friday, August 3, 2012
New York Daily News

The mayor should have read the letter. The mayor should have taken the contents seriously. The mayor should have responded appropriately and aggressively for the betterment of New York.  The subject was the New York City Housing Authority, whose failures of leadership and execution have been front and center in the Daily News.


Letter to Mayor Bloomberg last year warned of NYCHA's failures

Friday, August 3, 2012
New York Daily News

City housing officials, in addition to sitting on nearly $1 billion in federal funds, were too inept to collect another $600 million in available revenue, a civic improvement group charged last year.  In a letter to Mayor Bloomberg, the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation complained the New York City Housing Authority’s management was beset by “delay, confusion and complaints.”


Spring Creek Nehemiah is an Affordable Housing Success Story in East New York

Friday, July 27, 2012
New York Daily News

Linda Boyce says it happens all the time. People turn off Flatlands Ave. in East New York, Brooklyn, and slowly cruise Linwood, Vandalia, and Egan Sts. They look around, admiring multi-colored boxy houses with big backyards, private driveways, and patches of front gardens.  “Someone always asks ‘How can I live here?’ ” says Boyce, a member of the first Homeowner Association at Nehemiah Spring Creek, one of the city’s largest affordable homeowning developments and a national model for affordable housing programs. “That makes us proud. We work hard to keep this neighborhood clean and safe. Sometimes I forget I’m in Brooklyn.”


New Milwaukee housing program rebuilds houses, lives

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Martin Sinclair stood Thursday on the steps of the vacant, neglected house in the 2500 block of N. 52nd St., and before a gathering of bankers, government officials and area residents, he confessed.  "I came from the streets and I ran with guys who tore up the community," said Sinclair, 28, an ex-offender. "Now I have the opportunity to give back and fix what I helped to destroy."


Banks: Nearly 1,000 Prince William Co. homeowners eligible for mortgage settlement help

Monday, June 4, 2012
The Washington Post

MANASSAS, Va. — Nearly 1,000 homeowners in Prince William County and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park have been identified as eligible for assistance in the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement announced this year, two banks reported Sunday at a community meeting.

The announcements about how the housing settlement will affect Prince William County came at a community meeting sponsored by Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE), which has been pressing banks to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in Prince William County to compensate for the devastation caused by the wave of foreclosures.


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