Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice
Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice (GNCJ) is a racially and socioeconomically diverse coalition of stakeholders convened by FAC in response to the City’s Gowanus neighborhood rezoning process. GNCJ strives to elevate the voices of our community that have not been heard in the City’s planning process, seek consensus on community priorities and make the case for a community plan based on principles of social, economic, environmental and racial justice.
GNCJ’s top demands for the Gowanus rezoning are:
UPFRONT FUNDING FOR FULL CAPITAL NEEDS AT WYCKOFF AND GOWANUS
The City must dedicate enough upfront funding for full capital needs at Wyckoff Gardens and Gowanus Houses (WG). All funding spent to improve WG must adhere to HUD Section 3 hiring policies to ensure local NYCHA residents and low –income residents are hired to complete the work.
NET ZERO COMBINED SEWAGE OVERFLOW (CSO)
Mandate net zero CSO from new construction created as a result of the rezoning, through the following actions: (1) Accurately model how increased density will increase CSO and impact local hydrology, (2) Require and enforce CSO mitigation in new development and (3) Ensure city investment in infrastructure to completely mitigate any negative hydrological impacts of rezoning.
CREATE AN ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE SPECIAL DISTRICT WITH POWERFUL AND CLEAR LOCAL OVERSIGHT
Formal recognition and dedicated resources for an Environmental Justice Special District with a local oversight board with a diversity of representation from local residents including public housing residents, and from businesses, industries, nonprofit, faith based and civic associations to oversee implementation of all City commitments and developer requirements, inclusive of commitments to residents of WG.
South Brooklyn Accountable Development Initiative
South Brooklyn Accountable Development Initiative’s (SBADI) activities include FAC’s efforts to ensure sustainable development as well as economic, social and environmental justice outcomes in South Brooklyn through policy advocacy, grassroots organizing, popular education and leadership development.
SBADI’s efforts include a community-driven plan to:
- Protect and increase the public open space in Thomas Greene Park as part of the Superfund cleanup and the Gowanus neighborhood rezoning
- Create additional public space via the DEP Combined Sewage Overflow (CSO) headhouse facility site.
Turning the Tide
Turning the Tide (T3) is a nationally significant community-based collaboration led by FAC in partnership with Red Hook Initiative (RHI), Families United for Racial and Economic Equality (FUREE) and the Southwest Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation (SBIDC). The project serves as a model of equity, inclusion, and resident empowerment in environmental resilience planning for public housing authorities and mixed-use waterfront neighborhoods around the country.
T3 was formed to ensure two critical goals in mitigating the impacts of climate change: 1) help to ensure that unprecedented, multi-billion dollar public and private investments – particularly in public housing – in South Brooklyn’s Red Hook and Gowanus communities meaningfully contribute to New York City’s ambitious sustainability, resilience and equity goals while improving the resilience of these low–income communities and 2) help to inform and influence climate policy impacting NYC low-income residents and ensure that public investments advance equity and meet resident needs.
Stabilizing New York City
FAC is part of Stabilizing New York City (SNYC), a coalition comprised of a legal service provider and nineteen grassroots organizations who have come together to combat tenant harassment and preserve affordable housing for the New Yorkers who need it most. This project combines legal, advocacy and organizing resources into a citywide network to help tenants hold predatory equity landlords accountable, and organize against harassment. We are funded by and work with the New York City Council and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development.
SYNC has organized and supported hundreds of tenant associations throughout the city. From this base we have formed coalitions across building portfolios, built campaigns to thwart predatory equity tactics through direct and legal action, and forced unscrupulous landlords to make improvements and provide tenant protections across their portfolios. Investment in the SNYC program has helped build the city- and statewide tenant movement, and SNYC tenant leaders led the historic campaign to strengthen the rent laws. These leaders raised their voices to fight for the rent law reform and the protections they need for their homes and families.
SNYC pioneered the use of shared data and real estate research as a way to effectively focus our work. We started with a Watchlist of predatory equity landlords in 2015, comprising about 50 landlords who owned 2,500 buildings across NYC. By 2020, this list grew to encompass 70 landlords and 3,400 buildings across the city.
Bridges to Health Equity
Bridges to Health Equity is a multi-sector approach to improving health outcomes in NYC low-income communities consisting of community-based organizations, health providers, and managed care organizations. As a community-based partner, FAC has implemented a home-based asthma intervention program, delivered by a Community Health Worker (CHW) FAC’s CHW serves approximately 120 adults and children with asthma annually, including conducting home assessments and advocating for legally mandated apartment maintenance and repairs that trigger asthma, in conjunction with our tenant organizers and advocates. The goal of our program is to address our community’s social determinants of health to ensure healthier outcomes.