Our Work

Bea Arthur Residence: Project Description

The Cooper Square Committee, a housing preservation organization, and the Ali Forney Center, an organization that serves homeless LGBT youth, have partnered to acquire and renovate 222 East 13th Street in order to provide quality, safe, transitional housing for homeless LGBT teenagers and young adults, ages 18 – 24.

222e13-before-after

There are an estimated 4,000 homeless teenagers in NYC. According to a 2008 Census survey, up to 40% (1,600 homeless teenagers) are LGBTQ. As LGBT youth come out earlier, unfortunately some of them face rejection by their parents and are forced out onto the streets. These otherwise high functioning young people are placed at risk. They need a safe environment, which this housing will provide, so that they can prepare for adulthood.

Cooper Square Committee and the Ali Forney Center formed the Bea Arthur Residence Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) as part of the solution to this crisis. We obtained a $3.3 million capital grant from the New York City Council and the Borough President in Fiscal Year 2013.

We hired architectural firm, Magnusson Architecture and Planning to design 222 East 13th Street as a 3 unit building with 3 bedroom apartments to house 18 homeless LGBT youth. This 4 story building will get an addition in the rear, enlarging it from 4,900 sq. ft. to over 6,000 sq. ft.

The ground floor space will be occupied by the Ali Forney Center, which will provide 24/7 on site programming services for residents.

Cooper Square Committee is serving as project manager from pre-development stage up to the point we obtain a permanent certificate of occupancy. On June 30, 2015, the Bea Arthur Residence HDFC acquired 222 East 13th Street from the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

The renovation, which will be carried out by our general contractor, Builders-R-Us Construction Corporation, will restore this historic building, which dates from 1851, and provide a safe home for 18 homeless LGBT youth so that they can live free of stigma and make plans for their future.

Update: Renovation is expected to start in late August, 2015. We were delayed because the building had a Stop Work Order placed on it in the year 2000, which had not been removed by the Dept. of Buildings prior to closing. It has taken several weeks to get this issue resolved.

If you wish to make a donation in support of this project, you can make a check payable to “The Bea Arthur Residence HDFC” and mail it to c/o Cooper Square Committee, 61 East 4th Street, New York, NY 10003. This project is on a tight budget, and we may need to raise another $25,000 to deal with the risk of increased soft costs during construction.

Ali Forney Center and Cooper Square Committee Break Ground on Transitional Housing for LGBT Youth at 222 East 13th Street

Bea Arthur and Ali Forney Center ED Carl Siciliano, picture from Seattle Lesbian

Monday, July 20, 2015: Welcome to the “groundbreaking ceremony” for the Bea Arthur Residence, an 18-bed residence for homeless LGBT youth at 222 East 13th Street in Manhattan.  The project is sponsored by the Ali Forney Center and the Cooper Square Committee.  The Cooper Square Committee is serving as the project manager from the pre-development phase through completion of construction.  The Ali Forney Center will operate the building and provide on-site 24/7 services to residents when the building is rented up.

In 2012, the project received $3.3 million in New York City Capital (Reso A) funds.  The New York City Council, led by the efforts of Councilmember Rosie Mendez, former Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former Finance Committee Chairperson Domenic Recchia and members of the Lesbian and Gay Caucus secured $3 million in funds, and the Manhattan Borough President, Scott Stringer awarded $300,000 for the renovation of a long vacant building owned by the New York City Department of Housing and Preservation Development. We received a $180,000 pre-development loan from the Contact Fund, and an additional $40,000 in private funds was loaned by the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association and the Cube Building.  The Bea Arthur Residence HDFC took title to the building on June 30th, and renovations are expected to begin later this month.

Bea Arthur gave one of her final public performances as a benefit for the Ali Forney Center in 2005. She was very upset to learn that hundreds of thousands of LGBT teens were rejected by their families, and driven to homelessness. She said that she would do anything in her power to help these teens. When she died in 2009, the Ali Forney Center learned that she had bequeathed $300,000 to them in her will. At that time, Carl Siciliano, the Executive Director of the Ali Forney Center, pledged that the first building they owned would be named in her memory.

Carl Siciliano said, “It meant the world to me that a star of the magnitude of Bea Arthur would do so much to help the Ali Forney Center in our work of housing homeless LGBT youths. I am very grateful that we will now be able to honor Bea and continue to keep her compassion alive through the establishment of the Bea Arthur Residence for Homeless LGBT Youth.”

In an article prior to her passing, Bea Arthur said, “I’m very, very involved in charities involving youth. These kids at the Ali Forney Center are literally dumped by their families because of the fact that they are lesbian, gay or transgender – this organization really is saving lives.”

Steve Herrick, the Executive Director of Cooper Square, said: “I’m proud that we are developing this urgently needed housing for homeless LGBT youth in partnership with the Ali Forney Center, and I’m looking forward to moving this project to a successful completion.”

The Cooper Square Committee is an affordable housing preservation and tenant rights organization that has sponsored over 550 low income apartments, including dozens of homeless housing units. The Ali Forney Center ( AFC ) is the nation’s largest organization dedicated to homeless LGBT youths, AFC is committed to providing these young people with safe, dignified, nurturing environments where their needs for housing and support can be met, and where they can begin to put their lives back together. AFC is also dedicated to promoting awareness of the plight of homeless LGBT youth in the United States with the goal of generating responses on local and national levels from government funders, foundations, and the LGBT community.

“We approached the Ali Forney Center several years ago and proposed that we partner to develop this vacant city-owned building as housing for homeless LGBT youth, and they agreed.  We’re thankful that the NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development liked the project idea and worked with us to make this pioneering project a reality”, said Steve Herrick, Executive Director of the Cooper Square Committee. The development team for the project includes the architectural firm, Magnusson Architecture and Planning (MAP), the Lawyers Alliance of New York which formed the Bea Arthur Residence HDFC and handled the closing, which took place on June 30th.

Builders-R-Us Construction Corp., a minority business enterprise, will serve as the general contractor to carry out the gut renovation.  MAP’s design involves building an addition in the rear to add over 1,100 sq. ft. of space, allowing for the creation of three 3-bedroom apartments, each of which will house 6 residents.  The basement will house the Ali Forney Center’s staff to provide services to the residents.  The enlarged, 6,000 sq. ft. building is being developed in accordance with Green Communities standards, to maximize energy efficiency.  It will contain engineered bamboo flooring, and other green design elements. The Bea Arthur Residence HDFC is being assisted in developing this green building by the Association for Energy Affordability and the Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation.

The Bea Arthur Residence will be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and will include an automatic wheelchair lift to the building entrance in the basement.  It will have a limited use elevator from the basement to the first floor so that one third of the units will be accessible.  Each 3 bedroom apartment will be at least 1,150 sq. ft. with a full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, and a spacious living room.  There will be a laundry room in the basement for residents, and storage space in the sub cellar.  “We’re really excited about the redesign of this historic building”, said Carl Siciliano.  “It will create a warm, home-like environment for our residents rather than an institutional one”.

The project sponsors aim to raise some additional funds to complete the landscaping plan designed by Terrain NYC, install signage naming the building after Bea Arthur, and to cover some soft costs.  “Due to escalating construction costs in NYC, we had to scale back some elements of our architect’s design for the building,” said Mr. Herrick.  Another $75,000 will help us realize our vision for this pioneering project”.

We got a rent freeze!

In a historic decision, the Rent Guidelines Board voted for a rent freeze for one-year leases and a two percent increase for two-year leases. This is the first time in the RGB’s 46 year history rent-stabilized rents have been frozen. New York City has faced unreasonably high rent increases for far too long, but yesterday, tenants conquered. After the huge disappointment in Albany, we proved we are not powerless — we still have control over what happens to the tenants in our city.

For rent-stabilized leases which begin 10/1/2015 through 9/30/2016: 0% for 1 yr, 2% for 2 yr leases. (If your lease renews before 10/1/2015, the previous percentages are in effect: 1% for 1 yr, 2.75% for 2 yrs.) Read More

Rent Laws expired — your rights and what you can do

Your rights:

No matter what happens this week, you are protected until the end of your lease. Our colleague Ilana Maier at the Metropolitan Council on Housing says in today’s New York Times that “The fear is not that tenants will immediately lose their legal rights,” she said. “They won’t. The danger is that landlords will take advantage of the confusion and anxiety around the expiration of the rent laws to further harass rent-regulated tenants.”

For more information about your rights in case of expiration, see the Public Advocate’s information sheet here: http://bit.ly/rentlawsrights

CALL GOVERNOR CUOMO TODAY

Only days after thousands of tenants took over Albany on Tuesday for stronger rent laws, and after seven activists were arrested Thursday morning while blocking the entrance to Governor Cuomo’s NYC office, Andrew Cuomo is back to playing games. A week ago he called for stronger rent laws and an end to deregulation. Now he says the best he can do is renew them in their current weakened form. A straight extender of the rent laws as is would be a disaster, resulting in a steady loss every year of rent-protected apartments in NYC and the three suburban counties, and an ultimate end of the program.

Tell Governor Cuomo: Tenants Are Watching & We Will Remember.
CALL:  (518) 474-8390, press 3

Sample Script for Gov:  “Hello, my name is ____________ and I’m a tenant.  I’m calling to tell the Governor to strengthen the rent laws & end deregulation.  Renewing the rent laws is not enough – the Gov. must strengthen the rent laws & end deregulation. If he does not do this I will never vote for him again.”

The more calls he gets on this issue the better! Get your friends and neighbors to call!

If you have any questions, you can contact the Cooper Square Committee
at (212) 228-8210 or csc@coopersquare.org.

 

UPDATE RE: 2ND AVENUE AND 7TH STREET BUILDING COLLAPSES

Updated April 9, 2015

 

Legal Clinic for Tenants/Families of All Affected Buildings
Monday, April 20, 2015, 7 PM @ 59-61 E 4th St, 4th Floor

Attorneys and housing advocates will be present to inform tenants of their housing and personal property damage rights. No appointment is necessary. Tenants, relatives and their friends are welcomed to this meeting.

Sponsored by GOLES and CSC

It’s been 2 weeks since the tragic explosion at Sushi Park at 121 2nd Avenue caused a fire that resulted in the collapse of 119, 121 and 123 Second Avenue.  We join in mourning the death of two young men, and the injuries sustained by many others.

15 households in the collapsed buildings lost their homes. Multiple buildings had vacated orders in the immediate aftermath, affecting over 180 households and temporarily closing two dozen businesses.  Two buildings, 125 Second Avenue (26 residential units and 2 stores) and 41-43 East 7th Street (22 residential units) still have vacate orders in effect.

The NYC Dept. of Buildings stated at a public meeting on April 2nd that they think the vacate can be lifted on the residential units in 2 to 3 weeks once windows on the east side of the building and broken doors are replaced.   125 Second Avenue has more damage, and repairs are likely to take 4 to 6 weeks before the vacate order can be lifted on most of the units.  4 apartments on the top 2 floors had fire damage and repairs are likely to take several months.

The City’s Resident Service Center is now located at 59 East 4th Street in the Community Board 3 office, which will remain in operation til the end of this week.  Multiple agencies, including the NYC Office of Emergency Management, the American Red Cross, NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development, the Human Resources Administration, Con Edison, the ASPCA and Lower East Side Ready have worked to staff it over the past two weeks.

As a member of Lower East Side Ready, the Cooper Square Committee (CSC) partnered with GOLES to co-sponsor a legal clinic on March 30th for displaced tenants, inviting attorneys from MFY Legal Services and the Urban Justice Center as well as a couple of private attorneys to advise tenants about how they can secure their right to return, expedite repairs and obtain compensation for damages.

Follow up meetings with affected buildings are planned. Given that a criminal investigation is underway, criminal and civil cases are likely to be a lengthy process.

CSC and the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association (MHA) have begun to interview several of the tenants whose homes were destroyed to arrange placing them in temporary housing in MHA apartments.  Other housing providers have also offered assistance. We will continue to work with our local elected officials, government agencies and non-profit partners to assist affected residents and businesses in any way we can to help them recover from this disaster.  If you wish to offer financial support to those affected, you may donate to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC (link below).

~Steve Herrick, Executive Director

The Cooper Square Committee’s Organizing Work & Accomplishments in 2014

Our organizing team was so busy in 2014. We accomplished a ton in this past year… read on about all the ways we’ve been stopping displacement and building community!!

Download the PDF version of this Roundup!Click here to download the PDF version of this Roundup! 

Major Organizing Efforts and Coalitions

  • Through partnering with St. Nick’s alliance and the Urban Justice Center (UJC), Cooper Square Committee (CSC) created a much-needed campaign to reform the Department of Buildings (DOB) in 2014. For well over a year preceding this we had been working with community members to organize and draw attention to the problem of “construction as harassment.” In 2014 we were able to further connect with some of our most steadfast allies (close to 20 organizations) throughout the City to formalize a campaign to reform DOB and work on ending “construction as harassment.” The work we did last year is leading us to a pivotal year in 2015 where we will be looking to create new laws to better support tenants who are dealing with landlords who use the guise of construction to harass.
  • Click on any photo to enlarge. All photos on this page taken by CSC unless otherwise noted.

 

  • CSC’s organizing department was a lead community-group partner with the NYS Attorney General’s (AG) office in their investigation of the “tenant relocator” Michel Pimienta. The organizing we did and information we provided helped the AG wage a precedent-setting investigation which led to the shuttering of Michel’s operations.  UJC and CAAAV were also partners in this effort.

 

  • Photo credit: Zach Williams for The Villager

    Press conference at Mahfar building, 210 Rivington. Photo credit: Zach Williams for The Villager

    Led the organizing to help form the Mahfar Tenants Coalition. Both UJC and CAAAV are also involved with the amazing work happening here. This coalition, which includes half a dozen Samy Mahfar (SMA Equities) owned buildings, is fiercely pushing back against this landlord’s attempt to vacate and renovate Lower East Side (LES) buildings en masse. In 2014 the tenants from these buildings called Mahfar to the table, used city agencies and local politicians to step up enforcement in their buildings, and held a powerful press conference in December 2014 after lead contamination was verified to have occurred in their buildings.  The tenants of the Mahfar Tenants Coalition have proven to be some of the strongest fighters we’ve seen in 2014! Read More

2014 RGB Vote

1% and 2.75%

More details here.

Despite a massive turnout of tenants at last night’s Rent Guidelines Board vote, and calls for a rent freeze, the RGB voted for a 1% increase on one-year leases, and 2.75% for two-year leases. While it’s disappointing that the RGB didn’t vote for a rent freeze, the 1% increase for a one-year lease is the lowest ever in the 45 year history of the RGB. The tenants’ movement can take credit for making that happen. Now let’s focus on strengthening the NY State rent laws when they come up for renewal in June of next year. Let’s stay mobilized!

~ Steve Herrick, Executive Director

Cooper Square Committee’s Transitional Homeless Housing Plan for LGBT Youth Moving Forward

The NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is expected to file the Urban Development Action Area Plan for the Bea Arthur Residence at 222 E. 13th St. with the City Council in the coming weeks. The City Council must pass a resolution designating the project a UDAAP, and authorizing a long term tax exemption, which is a formality since local Councilmember Rosie Mendez is a strong supporter of the project and helped secure $3.3 million for its development. The Cooper Square Committee (CSC) is partnering with the Ali Forney Center (AFC) to renovate a vacant building at 222 E. 13th St. to house 18 homeless LGBT youth ages 18-24. CSC has done the bulk of the pre-development work, and will oversee the renovation, and AFC will rent up and manage the building when it’s completed. Project architects, Magnusson Architecture and Planning are expected to file the approved building plans with the NYC Dept. of Buildings within the next week. “We are hoping to acquire the building by the end of May, and start renovation immediately after that” says CSC Executive Director, Steve Herrick.

 

Experienced out-of-control construction? Take the RTE survey!

rte2014feb-img

We are working on collecting data on what tenants face during mismanaged construction so that we can create new laws and put an end to it.  If this is something you have experienced, please come into the CSC office (61 E 4th St) to pick up and fill out a Real-Time Enforcement Construction survey.  Tenant leaders and CSC organizers can also bring surveys to your building for you and your neighbors to fill out, or you can get help get involved with mass distribution yourself! Email Brandon for more details.

Read More

Real-Time Enforcement (RTE) Information Session Next Wednesday! 2/26

rte2014feb-img

Come learn how to keep your home safe and livable during construction!

Weds 2/26/2014, 7 PM – 8:30 PM 

59-61 E. 4th St., 4th Floor, Manhattan

 (handicapped accessible)

At this session you can:

  • Hear more about the RTE Campaign’s 2014 agenda
  • Get involved with a subcommittee
    (survey distrib., media relations, regulation reform, actions/demonstrations)
  • Take the survey, & distribute to your neighbors
  • General Construction Q & A

Refreshments served!  For more info,  download the flyer, or contact Brandon Kielbasa: (212) 228-8210 ext 4, rte@coopersquare.org

NYCHA Tenants Fight Infill Luxury Housing Plan

Cooper Square Committee members and staff joined hundreds of tenants who turned out for a rally and public hearing held by the NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) on July 24th at Pace University to protest NYCHA plans to lease 18 parcels of land at eight Manhattan housing projects for luxury housing. 8 parcels at five Lower East Side projects are part of the plan – at Smith Houses, Baruch Houses, Laguardia Houses, Campos Plaza and Meltzer Tower. 

Read More

Senior Activities in July

COOPER SQUARE COMMITTEE/ MUTUAL HOUSING ASSOCIATION
Senior Health, Advocacy, and Recreation Program (SHARP)
FREE Neighborhood Activities

The Cooper Square Committee/Mutual Housing Association SHARP Program has created this newsletter to inform you of free activities in the neighborhood for your enjoyment and enrichment.

These activities are being offered at the following locations. Scroll down for a calendar.

Tompkins Square Library

331 East 10th Street, near Avenue B

212-228-4747. www.nypl.org

Third Street Music School Settlement

235 East 11th Street, near Second Avenue

212-777-3240. www.thirdstreetmusicschool.org

University Settlement: Project Home

189 Allen St, South of Houston St.

(212) 505-1995

We recommend that you call or email these sites before visiting to confirm that the event listed has not been changed or cancelled.  We hope you will take advantage of these rich neighborhood services. We would enjoy your feedback and hope you will tell us of other activities you would like to see added.  When you visit one of these locations you will learn about more activities and others sites that are not listed here.  We will continue to expand this list as we learn of more offers.  Please email Joyce Ravitz at Cooper Square Committee with your questions or comments, or call 212-228-8210.

 

JULY EVENTS
FREE                                     FREE                                                  FREE

MONDAY tuesday wednesday Thursday Saturday
July 1 July 2
1:00 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement.Creative Sculpture Workshop
July 3
4:30 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. Adult Movie Night: “Friends with Kids”
July 4 July 6
July 8 July 9
1:00 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement.Creative Sculpture Workshop
July 10
4:30 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. Adult Movie Night: “Equilibrium”
July 11
12:30 p.m.
ThirdStreetMusicSchool. Settlement Players at AbeLebewohlPark
July 13
1:00 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. New York Opera Forum presents Rossini’s “La Cenerentola”
July 15
4:30-5:30p.m.
Project Home
Yoga Class, all levels welcome
July 16
1:00 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement.Creative Sculpture Workshop
July 17
4:30 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. Adult Movie Night: “Shall We Dance”
July 18
12:30 p.m.
ThirdStreetMusicSchool.David Moreno Odd Morning Quartet at AbeLebewohlPark
July 20
July 22
4:30-5:30p.m.
Project Home
Yoga Class, all levels welcome
July 23
1:00 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement.Creative Sculpture Workshop
July 24
4:30 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. Adult Movie Night: “The Bourne Legacy”
July 25
12:30 p.m.
ThirdStreetMusicSchool.Gypsy Jazz Caravan at AbeLebewohlPark
July 27
July 29 July 30 July 31
4:30 p.m.
Tompkins Square Library, basement. Adult Movie Night: “One Day”
 

NYCHA Infill Plan

Succession And NYCHA
Telephone: 347-903-8428 (90evictNYCHA)
Fax: 415-873-1754
Email: Contact.SuccessionAndNYCHA@gmail.com@gmail.com
Twitter: 
@NYCHAsuccession
Facebook: 
SuccessionAtNYCHA
Mailing List: http://groups.google.com/group/evictnycha

Senior Activities in June

COOPER SQUARE COMMITTEE/ MUTUAL HOUSING ASSOCIATION
Senior Health, Advocacy, and Recreation Program (SHARP)
FREE Neighborhood Activities

The Cooper Square Committee/Mutual Housing Association SHARP Program has created this newsletter to inform you of free activities in the neighborhood for your enjoyment and enrichment.

These activities are being offered at the following locations. Scroll down for a calendar.

1. Ottendorfer Library

135 Second Avenue, north of 8th Street

212-674-0947. www.nypl.org

Here are descriptions of activities on the table at this site. They are marked with:

*        Knitting Circle. (Got knitting Skills?  If not, want to learn? Everyone is required  to bring their own yarn and simple knitting needles.)

**      Open Lab Computer Class (An introduction to the Internet, including getting a connected, using a web browser and navigating web pages.)

2. Tompkins Square Library

331 East 10th Street, near Avenue B

212-228-4747. www.nypl.org

3. Third Street Music School Settlement

235 East 11th Street, near Second Avenue

212-777-3240. www.thirdstreetmusicschool.org

And, at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowery, 2nd  Avenue and 10th Street

http://stmarksbowery.org/calendar.html

We recommend that you call or email these sites before visiting to confirm that the event listed has not been changed or cancelled.  We hope you will take advantage of these rich neighborhood services. We would enjoy your feedback and hope you will tell us of other activities you would like to see added.  When you visit one of these locations you will learn about more activities and others sites that are not listed here.  We will continue to expand this list as we learn of more offers.  Please email Joyce Ravitz at Cooper Square Committee with your questions or comments, or call 212-228-8210.

JUNE EVENTS

FREE                                                FREE                                            FREE

Tuesday Thursday Saturday
June 1 10:00 a.m.3rdStreetMusicSchool“String ‘Stravaganza” (at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery)2:00 p.m.

Ottendorfer Library

Knitting Circle*

June 4  11:00 a.m3rdStreetMusicSchoolNew Horizons Band Concert (at 3rdStreetMusicSchool) June 6 11:00 a.m.Ottendorfer LibraryOpen Lab Computer Class**12:30 pm

Mike Freeman ZonaVibe (at St. Mark’s Church-in-the Bowery)

 

June 8 1:00 p.m.Three Orchestras Concert (at St. Mark’s Church-in-the- Bowery)2:00 p.m.Ottendorfer Library

Knitting Circle*

June 11 June 13 11:00 a.m.Ottendorfer LibraryOpen Lab Computer Class**12:30 pm

Arturo O’Farrell Latin Jazz Group (at St. Mark’s Church-in-the Bowery

June 15 1:00 p.m.Tompkins Square LibraryNew York Opera Forum presents Handel’s Alcina 2:00 p.m.

Ottendorfer Library

Knitting Circle*

June 18 June 20 11:00 a.m.Ottendorfer LibraryOpen Lab Computer Class**12:30 p.m.

3rdStreetMusicSchool

Eve Sicular and Metropolitan Klezmer (at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery)

June 22 2:00 p.m.Ottendorfer LibraryKnitting Circle*
June 25 June 27 11:00 a.m.Ottendorfer LibraryOpen Lab Computer Class** June 29 2:00 p.m.Ottendorfer LibraryKnitting Circle*

From a Satisfied CSC Client

In the summer of 2010, I was facing some financial difficulty and had fallen behind on rent payments for my rent stabilized apartment on Ave B. Fearing that I would be evicted from my apartment, I was recommended by a friend to get in touch with Brandon Kielbasa at The Cooper Square Committee. Brandon had previously helped her with some issues that she was having in her Lower East Side apartment, and she informed me that the Committee was a great recourse for East Village residents.

Read More

City Funds Homeless LGBT Youth Housing Project Proposed by Cooper Square Committee and the Ali Forney Center

The Cooper Square Committee and the Ali Forney Center have been awarded $3 million by the City Council and an additional $300,000 by Borough President, Scott Stringer to develop housing for up to 18 homeless LGBT youth at 222 East 13th Street, which will be formally named the Bea Arthur Residence.  Bea Arthur was an advocate and supporter of the Ali Forney Center and its mission.  Community Board 3 unanimously recommended that the site be transferred to the Ali Forney Center and the Cooper Square Committee for this use.

Read More

Important Seward Park ULURP hearing at City Planning on Wednesday, July 11th:

The City Planning Commission will be holding a  hearing regarding the large scale development plan for the  Seward Park Urban Renewal Area on Wednesday, July 11th at 10 am at 22 Reade Street, 6th floor, between Lafayette St. and Broadway.  The plan calls for at least 900 mixed income apartments, of which 50% will be affordable to low, moderate and middle income households.  The plan also will create several hundred thousand square feet of retail space, a 1/4 acre park, and relocate the Essex Street Market south of Delancey Street in a new state of the art building.
This plan was the result of three years of planning meetings by Community Board 3, which unanimously endorsed the ULURP application at a May 22nd full board meeting.  Now that the Borough President has also signed off on the plan, the City Planning Commission will vote on the plan soon after the public hearing.  We are urging our members to come out and show your support for the plan. It is a breakthrough compromise on the more than $500 million plan.  The plan will create hundreds of construction jobs over the coming decade, and hundreds of permanent jobs in the new stores and restaurants.

 

While we strongly endorse the plan, we are calling on the City Planning Commission for some improvements:
  • Urge the City Planning Commission to exclude big box stores (over 30,000 sq. ft.)
  • We want a solid commitment that 50% of all full-time jobs be for residents of CB3 at prevailing wages for construction jobs and living wages for all other jobs.
  • The city must provide compensation for Essex Street market vendors who will need to relocate to a new market south of Delancey St.
  • Honor the commitment to relocate income qualified former site tenants, and notify them of their right to apply for and receive first priority for any new housing.

Manhattan/Bronx Town Hall on Thursday, June 7, 2012

6:30-8:30pm at the Hartley House,
Stop landlords from getting J-51 renewal unless tenants get stronger protection!
Reduce preferential rent increases
Limit Major Capital Improvement increases to costs
End MBR increases for rent-controlled tenants
Reform the Rent Guidelines Board!

Come tell your story as a tenant.
Cooper Square Committee is a co-sponsor, and a member of the R3 Campaign.

2012 RGB Public Hearings

NOW IS THE TIME TO PROTEST HIGHER RENTS!

The Rent Guidelines Board (RGB) has proposed a rent increase
of up to 4% per year and landlords are demanding even
higher “supplemental” increases. Turn-out for the hearings is
critical!
The RGB has voted for excessive rent increases unaffordable to
tenants (the 99%) throughout NYC–despite reports that document
that most landlords (the 1%) are doing quite well. Do you struggle
to get basic repairs? Is your landlord deregulating apartments to
charge “market” rents? Demand an end to unfair rent hikes.

Read More

Seward Park ULURP Vote this Wednesday!

Community Board 3’s Seward Park Committee will be voting on the ULURP application for the large urban renewal area this Wednesday, May 16th. Come show your support for permanently affordable housing, living wage jobs, and responsible economic development without big box stores. Location: 184 Eldridge St. at 6:30 pm.

To see a map of the sites, comprising 7 acres, and to read the EIS Statement and the ULURP application, click on the link below.

http://www.nycedc.com/project/seward-park-mixed-use-development-project

Learn About Affordable Housing, Small Businesses and New Jobs Coming to Seward Park Area

SPURAmapWhen:  Tuesday, April 10th 2012, 7:00 PM

Where:  Masaryk Towers Community Room- 75 Columbia Street

What: Special Informational Meeting on New Plan for Seward Park Urban Renewal Area

Are you a former Seward Park Site Tenant?

Do you or a family member need affordable housing?

After many years of inaction and broken promises, a compromise agreement was reached when Community Board #3 brought together all community stakeholders. The plan will include mixed income housing (50% affordable and 50% market-rate), as well as jobs, retail stores creation and cultural activities for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.

Please come to an important informational meeting and find out how you can help make this plan become a reality.

SEWARD PARK AREA REDEVELOPMENT COALITION (SPARC)sparc40@gmail.com / c/o CHARAS P. O. Box 2258 NY, NY  10009

LEARN ABOUT PROPOSED MIXED-USE PLAN FOR SPURA

SPURAmap

Where & When

University Settlement

184 Eldridge St (btwn Rivington/Delancey Sts)
Weds April 18, 2012
5:00-6:00pm – Technical Question & Answer Session
6:30 pm – Public Forum

 

SUPPORT:

  • PERMANENT Affordable Housing
  • at least 50% for local residents (Community Board #3)
  • priority for former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) site tenants  (those who lived on Willet, Pitt, Attorney, Clinton, Suffolk, Norfolk, Essex, Ludlow, Grand, Broome, & Delancey Streets)
  • COMMUNITY JOBS COMMITMENT
  • NO BIG BOX STORES

LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD!

come & bring your neighbors

SEWARD PARK AREA REDEVELOPMENT COALITION (SPARC)sparc40@gmail.com / c/o CHARAS P. O. Box 2258 NY, NY  10009

New Greening Initiative On The Way

The Con Edison Settlment Fund Committee of Community Board 3 voted on Thursday, Jan. 5th to approve a $65,000 proposal we submitted in November.  We plan to outreach to at least two dozen low income cooperatives (HDFCs) near the East 14th Street Con Ed plant, and assist them with applying for NYS Weatherization funds and EmPower New York funds available to make their buildings more energy efficient and reduce their heating and air conditioning costs.

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