Who We Are

OUR MISSION

Fifth Avenue Committee’s mission is to advance economic, social, and racial justice in New York City through integrated, community-centered affordable housing, grassroots organizing, policy advocacy, and transformative education, training, and services that build the power to shape our community’s future.

HISTORY

1978–1982

  • In 1978, Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) incorporated as a not-for-profit community organization to act as conveners and advocates, organizers and sources of technical assistance, and packagers and developers 
  • FAC helped Berkeley Place & Lincoln Place Block Associations convert 2500 sq. ft. rubbish-filled lot into a community garden 
  • FAC launched a campaign to prevent displacement of low- and moderate-income tenants 
  • FAC renovated its first building, 104 St. Mark’s Place, as part of its sweat equity program, and hosted a tour to pressure the City to expand and streamline the program 
  • The first model house at 615 Warren Street sold to a local family 

1983-1987

  • FAC’s Facade Improvement Program, utilizing Summer Youth Corps workers, completed work on 35 buildings 
  • FAC’s tenant organizing worked with 130 families in City-owned buildings and 7 buildings get into the Tenant Interim Lease program 
  • FAC joined with 5 other community organizations to launch the Park Slope Neighborhood Family Center 
  • FAC completed Baltic Street & Warren Street projects 

1988-1992

  • FAC named Quisenbury Drive in honor of Dorothy Quisenburylongtime president of FAC 
  • FAC merged with its sister organization for commercial revitalization, the Park Slope Fifth Avenue Local Development Corporation, which led to the creation of job-generating businesses and community employment programs 

1993-1997

  • FAC’s Youth Entrepreneurship program led to the creation of 3 youth businesses: Fruity Kool, Tasty Beverages, and the Young Talented Painters 
  • FAC began offering entitlements advocacy for public assistance recipients 
  • The Economic Empowerment Program launched, helping with job readiness, career development, and resume writing 
  • Through the Vacant Building Program FAC built 36 affordable apartments in 6 buildings 
  • FAC-organized South Brooklyn Coalition to Save the Rent Laws saw 400 tenants push elected officials to protect tenants’ rights 

1998-2002

  • FAC merged with LEAP, Inc. to create Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (BWI). BWI took over responsibility for FAC’s two community businesses and LEAP’s acclaimed commercial driver training program, Red Hook on the Road 
  • FAC renovated its 100th building at 332 Bergen Street 
  • FAC and WEP Workers Together! convened the Coalition for Real Jobs and helped introduce a bill into City Council to create 10,000 jobs 
  • FAC launched the Campaign of Conscience to prevent evictions of tenants due to massive rent hikes  
  • Neighborhood Homes projects, redeveloped by FAC, sold to first-time homebuyers 

2003-2007

  • FAC broke ground on Red Hook Homes, 60 units of affordable, mixed-income co-opsrepresenting the community’s largestever affordable homeownership project 
  • FAC enrolled over 350 adults in over a dozen courses, including English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Adult Basic Education (ABE), and General Equivalency Diploma (GED) preparation, basic computer skills, and financial literacy classes 
  • FAC helped janitors illegally locked in stores overnight stand up for their rights in court, settling in their favor 
  • FAC worked with state elected officials to reintroduce the Community Stability Tax Credit legislation to provide an incentive to landlords to rent to low-income tenants below-market rate in non-rent stabilized buildings 
  • FAC created an Employment Readiness Program for women incarcerated at Rikers Island

2008-2012

  • The Gowanus Canal was designated Brooklyn’s first Superfund site by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and FAC began organizing around EPA clean-up efforts.
  • FAC built 575 5th Avenue, partnering with CUCS to provide on-site services to low-income supportive housing residents in Park Slope.

2013-2017

  • FAC launched Gowanus Community Wi-Fi, an open-access, free community Mesh network in Gowanus, Brooklyn to create a digital bridge for small businesses, residents, and community groups while providing job training for local residents.
  • FAC became a chartered NeighborWorks America member.
  • FAC Renaissance launches, renovating and preserving deeply affordable housing in 21 of FAC’s buildings throughout Gowanus and Park Slope.
  • FAC convenes the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice to engage local residents and stakeholders in elevating social, economic, and environmental justice in conversation around the City’s plans to rezone Gowanus, Brooklyn.

2018-Present

  • FAC facilitated “Where We Live NYC” workshops for community residents, with discussions around New York City’s Affirmative Action Plan on developing fair housing policies.
  • FAC partnered with Brooklyn Public Library to break ground on a new state-of-the-art building in Sunset Park that will nearly double the size of the Sunset Park branch while simultaneously creating 49 new deeply affordable apartments.
  • FAC organized tenants around New York City’s historic rent changes in 2019 while organizing weekly trips to Albany to rally and testify for stronger tenant protections and Universal Rent Control.
  • FAC launched the Sunset Park Bridge Program to narrow the gap between non-native English speakers and access to proven-effective career training programs.
  • FAC has provided over $250,000 in emergency cash relief payments to over 500 local COVID-impacted families through our COVID-19 Relief Fund.