The funding will benefit the Flatbush Development Corporation, the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, Housing & Family Services of Greater New York, the Fifth Avenue Committee and the Legal Aid Society.
On Friday, State Senator Jesse Hamilton announced $190,000 in funding for tenants' rights and advocacy groups secured in the New York State budget. The four groups receiving the financial boost include the Flatbush Development Corporation with the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, Housing & Family Services of Greater New York, Fifth Avenue Committee with Neighbors Helping Neighbors and the Legal Aid Society.
"These groups prevent evictions, combat harassment of tenants, deliver assistance in housing court, provide a lifeline to families in crisis and so much more," said Hamilton. "This investment in our community will strengthen protections for tenants and serves as one important step forward in keeping our family, friends and neighbors in their homes."
As Hamilton announced, the Flatbush Development Corporation, a nonprofit comprised of community residents, merchants and business leaders who are dedicated to enhancing the quality of the Flatbush community, and the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, a member-led group of tenant associations in Flatbush, East Flatbush and South Crown Heights, will receive $50,000.
The Fifth Avenue Committee, an organization that focuses on developing and managing affordable housing and community facilities, creating economic opportunities and providing student-centered adult education, will receive $25,000 together with its subsidiary Neighbors Helping Neighbors.
The Legal Aid Society will receive $50,000. For 140 year history, the organization, guided by the principle that nobody should be denied access to justice because of poverty, has provided assistance to marginalized New Yorkers experiencing civil legal issues. Housing & Family Services of Greater New York, dedicated to the preservation of affordable housing and prevention of displacement and homelessness caused by rent escalation and the abuse of fair housing regulations, will receive $65,000.
"The fight to preserve affordable housing and advocate for tenants' rights is more crucial now than ever, especially in Flatbush and Central Brooklyn," said Robin Redmond, executive director of the Flatbush Development Corporation. "This funding will help us build tenant power, strengthen tenant rights and preserve affordable housing in our communities."
Hamilton made his announcement at 265 Hawthorne Street, the site of a recent victory of local tenants. The residents of the 71-unit building in the heart of Prospect Lefferts Gardens had been trying to secure their building since 2007 when the city took the building from the landlord. With the support of local organizations and pro-bono legal counsel, the tenants were able to protect their housing by forming their own co-op and taking ownership of their apartments.