CITY LAUNCHES PARTNERS IN PRESERVATION PILOT PROGRAM
City and non-profit partners commit $1.5 million in funding for new initiative to fight displacement in targeted neighborhoods
Pilot to launch in Inwood and Washington Heights, East Harlem, and the Jerome Avenue Neighborhoods
New York, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) today announced the launch of Partners in Preservation, a new pilot program that will serve as a hub for local anti-displacement initiatives in select New York City neighborhoods. This pilot will kick off in the recently rezoned neighborhoods of East Harlem and the Jerome Avenue area of the Bronx. In addition, the program will be launched in the Inwood and Washington Heights sections of Manhattan, where high rates of speculative investment and rising rents have made residents particularly vulnerable to tenant harassment and displacement. The program will provide funding for community-based organizations to jointly coordinate anti-displacement initiatives – such as code enforcement, tenant organizing and education, legal representation, affirmative litigation, and other strategies – in these neighborhoods.
The program is funded by the City of New York and Enterprise Community Partners with a commitment of $1.5 million. Enterprise funding was the result of the New York State Attorney General’s settlement with the Royal Bank of Scotland over misconduct.
“Preservation is the cornerstone of our efforts to protect the affordability of our city through the Mayor's housing plan, and we’re using every available tool -- and creating new ones -- to keep New Yorkers in their homes and neighborhoods. Through our new Partners in Preservation pilot program, we’re joining forces with community-based organizations to double down on our efforts to combat displacement with a targeted, comprehensive approach to enforcement and preservation that will help neighborhoods most at risk of losing affordability,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “I want to thank Enterprise Community Partners and our elected partners for their commitment to protecting communities and making sure our city stays affordable and equitable for generations to come.”
“Through the funding we secured in our settlements with the big banks, we’ve been able to empower communities across the state to overcome the devastating effects of the foreclosure crisis and housing downturn,” said New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood. “I’m proud that these funds have now made it possible for New York City to create a pilot program that will focus on combating displacement and keeping our neighborhoods affordable.”
“HDC is proud to support the latest initiative under Housing New York 2.0,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “With this pilot program, the Administration is taking another important step to preserve affordability and protect the City’s neighborhoods”
“Communities across the city are facing harassment and building deregulation as speculative investment and skyrocketing rents push out longtime residents. Anti-displacement initiatives like Partners in Preservation are vital to preserving affordable housing in the neighborhoods that need it most,” said Judi Kende, Vice President and New York market leader, Enterprise Community Partners. “We’re proud to partner with HPD to combine comprehensive data analysis with the power of local community organizations to ensure that neighborhood development benefits everyone.”
"Speculative real estate investment and rising rents are forcing longtime residents to flee the neighborhoods they call home. Tenants are often harassed from the places where they live or simply reach a point where they can't afford to stay in their long time neighborhoods. This pilot program will help fight displacement in the New York City neighborhoods that are being most affected- including Jerome Avenue in the Bronx. I applaud Mayor de Blasio for addressing this issue as part of his commitment to address the affordable housing crisis we face in New York City and to significantly increase the number of affordable apartments available in the City by 2026," said Congressman José E. Serrano.
“Housing is a fundamental tenet of communities that thrive, and nothing is more important than preserving the affordability of housing for New York City residents and families,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. “It remains critical that we work together to ensure the lives of my constituents and our neighbors are not displaced and uprooted with any new development.”
“More public resources to fight displacement will always be welcome news,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “Even when they’re protected by rent regulation, tenants face an uphill battle against increasingly brazen harassment and displacement tactics. Code enforcement, tenant organizing, legal services, and proactive litigation are all tools we need to invest in if we’re going to protect the affordable housing we have and prevent our housing crisis from getting worse.”
"Affordable housing creation and preservation are key to keeping our working families in their homes as they face harassment by bad landlords. It is incumbent upon elected and government officials to ensure tenants in New York City feel empowered with the legal resources necessary to confront abusive landlords and a broader community of partners that have their backs," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez. "I look forward to the implementation of Partners in Preservation, and the critical resources it will bring to CBOs and tenants alike."
“Partners in Preservation will ensure critical resources, such as tenant education, legal representation, and code enforcement, are available in recently rezoned neighborhoods. I thank the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Housing Development Corporation for their efforts in launching this much-needed program, which will enhance collaboration between the City, community-based organizations, and the residents they serve,” said Council Member Diana Ayala.
“Today is a great day with the launch of Partners in Preservation. More than 70% of the constituents who come to my district office for help are in dire need of affordable housing. They are being pushed out by rising rents landlord harassment and unsafe conditions that make their homes uninhabitable. This new pilot is data driven and looks at each identified building individually to find its unique challenges and the strategies that will work. Partners in Preservation will work closely with community partners and conduct outreach to ensure that tenants know their rights. This is the right way to go in protecting affordable housing and New York City tenants. I’m proud that this program will operate in the Jerome Avenue corridor,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
“By taking a holistic approach to preservation, the Partners in Preservation pilot program will provide another much needed avenue to preserve real and lasting affordability across New York. As a part of the city's investment in the Jerome Corridor, the Partners in Preservation pilot program will partner with a local organization to support anti-displacement initiatives, address code violations, and help keep families in their homes,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson. “I thank Mayor de Blasio and HPD Commissioner Maria Springer-Torres for supporting this important program and I look forward to working with them to keep New York affordable for all.”
“The Partners in Preservation program will provide crucial new resources for the local tenant organizing that is the backbone of anti-displacement work in New York City. We commend HPD’s focus on stopping displacement as an essential part of an affordable housing plan,” said Benjamin Dulchin Executive Director of ANHD. “HPD’s collaboration with and support for community-based organizations, and their commitment to using all the tools at their disposal to focus on preserving the city’s rent regulated affordable housing, is an important step forward.”
“We applaud the Partners in Preservation Program for resourcing community-based organizations to fight displacement,“ said Sam Marks, Executive Director of LISC NYC. “Neighborhood based community-based organizations with deep experience in local housing preservation and community organizing are uniquely positioned to combat this crisis.”
First proposed as part of Housing New York 2.0, the Mayor’s accelerated and expanded plan to achieve 300,000 affordable apartments by 2026, Partners in Preservation will include funding for community-based organizations to organize tenants and develop anti-displacement strategies in collaboration with HPD and other government partners. The pilot program will focus on four core strategies:
- A data-driven process to identify rent-regulated buildings where harassment and displacement are most likely to occur.
- Tailored action plans for each identified building that include a range of strategies, such as code enforcement, tenant organizing and education, affirmative litigation, and legal counseling.
- Regular, close coordination with community partners, which includes all parties tasked with implementing the action plans (government agencies, tenant organizers, and legal service providers).
- Focusing on specific neighborhoods where building-specific interventions can be paired with comprehensive outreach efforts to inform tenants of their rights.
HPD will devote staff and provide funding for community-based organizations to jointly coordinate anti-displacement initiatives in the three pilot neighborhoods. In the coming months, the City will be issuing a request for proposals (RFP) to identify and procure qualified non-profit partners. In addition to the $1.5 million allocated for community-based organizations, HPD will be dedicating staff members to operate and coordinate the program.