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Fox River Valley Initiative Wins $19M to build Affordable Housing for Families and people with Mental or Developmental Disabilities

Leaders from the Fox River Valley Initiative organized over the past eight months building power within the Elgin, IL community by going door-to-door and having conversations with over 200 residents, meeting with the city council members and finally delivering 200 people to the Planning & Zoning Meeting to push the recommendation for the council through.
The Elgin council unanimously voted for the $19M dollar Affordable Housing Project, which will build 48 units of affordable housing for families (2/3 bdrms) with 10 studio units for people with a mental or developmental disability and an onsite case manager. Overall this project will create permanent supportive affordable housing for 100 men, women, children and people with disabilities. 
Detailed Timeline of Campaign HERE.

East Brooklyn Congregations, Metro NY, Seniors, Students & Residents Demand that Mayor de Blasio end delays and begin development for thousands of affordable housing units for low-income senior citizens

Over 250 EBC, Metro NY IAF leaders, seniors, students, NYCHA residents and pastors rallied at Redwood Senior Living this past December calling on Mayor de Blasio to end delays of the historic $500 million investment in new low-income senior housing Metro NY won this past summer.  The unprecedented affordable housing investment was immediately supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announcement of a special tax incentive for developers who would build 100% affordable units for seniors. 
At the action a new report was released calling on the mayor to launch development of thousands of housing units for low-income senior citizens. The report, “A Home for All New Yorkers: Low-Income Senior Housing as a Model for Citywide Affordable Development,” offers a proposal in stark contrast with the mayor's NYCHA “rescue” plans, which involve 99-year leases of NYCHA land for private developers to build luxury apartments.
The leaders were joined by Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, Attorney General-elect Tish James, Council members Laurie Cumbo and Rafael Espinal, and Assembly member Latrice Walker.  
Afterwards the attendees toured Redwood Senior Living and visited 6 apartments to meet the residents whose lives have been changed by the opportunity to live in a 100% affordable, clean and safe community.  
Metro NY continues to push the mayor and local officials to develop a real plan with a goal of building at least 150 developments across the city; as well as repair neglected NYCHA apartment units; create affordable housing for young families; protect homeowners; and hold slumlords accountable.  
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WIN Celebrates Grand Opening of 99 Affordable Housing Units

For over 10 years, WIN member Emory UMC and Emory Beacon of Light, in partnership with The Community Builders, worked for over a decade to build 99 units of affordable housing on church land. WIN supported the effort throughout the process, including getting the zoning through the Historic Review Board after the site was declared too historic to alter. The project broke ground in 2016, and this March, we finally celebrated the grand opening!

Manhattan Together and South Bronx Churches Victorious in Negotiating New Consent Decree with NYCHA to Address Toxic Mold in Public Housing

NYCHA resident stands by a living room wall that is leaking water and has ruined the plaster at the Jackson Houses in the Bronx. | Photo by Richard Harbus, NY Daily News
In addition to forcing the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) to make hundreds more repairs in apartments, Manhattan Together and South Bronx Churches successfully negotiated a newly revised consent decree with NYCHA. This settlement establishes even tougher standards for properly fixing mold and leaks in all 186,000 units of public housing in New York, and a program by which the repairs can be made. Even more importantly, it creates independent oversight entities that will ensure NYCHA is acting effectively and honestly in accordance with the agreement. Those entities can force NYCHA to make proper repairs, or hire outside contractors to do it when they will not.
Photo Credit - Getty Images, Drew Angerer

Lake County United Celebrates Construction on $30 Million 185-Bed Affordable Nursing Home

Groundbreaking for 185-Bed Affordable Housing Nursing Home in Lake County, IL
Eleven years ago, Lake County was positioning to close Winchester House, which would have left over 200 low-income seniors without an affordable place to live. On December 4th, at the official groundbreaking of a 185-unit affordable nursing home, County Board Chair Steve Carlson began his remarks with “This all began with a conversation with Lake County United.”
Over the years, Lake County United (LCU) continued to press to keep the nursing home open and affordable. Of the 185 beds, 65% are Medicaid and will include long-term nursing, memory care and short-term rehab services. The building of the facility is expected to be completed by mid-year in 2020. The old building will be torn down and made into a potential land site for more affordable housing. 

Durham CAN Wins 277 Units of Affordable Housing in Downtown Durham

Durham CAN leaders attending Durham County Commissioners meeting as they vote on affordable housing.
After three years of organizing and persistent public pressure, Durham CAN won 277 new apartments in downtown Durham near three of its anchor congregations. Voting unanimously for the plan, Durham County Commissioners kept their commitment to Durham CAN and agreed to put affordable and market-rate apartments on county land on the 300 and 500 blocks of East Main Street. The land was originally slated for luxury housing in a deal that was not public. Leaders pressured Durham City Council to prioritize affordable housing on over four acres of city-owned land that led to the Mayor presenting a proposal reflecting Durham CAN’s top priority and included all demands: a minimum of 80 units of affordable housing for families under 60% AMI, including a commitment for a developer to work with the Durham Housing Authority to accept residents with vouchers.

Greater Cleveland Congregations Pushes City Council to Unanimously Pass Legislation Requiring Foreclosure Bonds for Residential Properties

Greater Cleveland Congregations Housing Taskforce Leader Diana Woodbridge speaking during a bus tour of distressed properties.
Organizing efforts of GCC's Housing Taskforce resulted in Cleveland Heights City Council unanimously passing legislation requiring foreclosure bonds for vacant residential properties. The legislation requires that $15,000 cash bonds be set aside once a property has been vacant for 60 days.  A $1,500 administrative fee will also be deducted annually to manage the program. Vice Mayor Melissa Yasinow cited the strong advocacy from local GCC institutions, which sponsored a bus tour of 19 distressed properties in Cleveland Heights’ Noble neighborhood this summer. Advocates had tried to get this legislation passed five years ago with no luck. With their persistence and organizing skills, the GCC Housing Taskforce overcame the obstacles and made passing the legislation a reality.

Jersey City Together wins final authorization for $170 million in bonding for 95-acre Bayfront site

Rendering of future Bayfront site where as many as 2,800 affordable units could be created
A year and a half ago, Jersey City Together launched a campaign to change the way a 95-acre site would be developed so that it would include real affordable housing as part of it. On October, the Jersey City Council approved the final ordinance to authorize $170 million worth of municipal bonds for the site's purchase and for investing in its infrastructure. The city now hopes 35+ percent of the site's units can be affordable (potentially 2,800 units). The site was cleaned up after organizing & a lawsuit by a previous IAF-affiliate in Jersey City called the Interfaith Community Organization. 

Fighting for the Soul of New York City, Metro IAF NY Wins 1,000 New Affordable Units for NYCHA Seniors

Before more than 1,200+ East Brooklyn Congregations and Metro IAF leaders, the Governor Cuomo said, “Redwood shows how to provide senior housing. We just have to do more of it. And I pledge today the state of New York will help finance over 1,000 units over 11 projects on 11 NYCHA sites. Let’s get the seniors out of NYCHA and lets open the page on a new day. Thank you for leading the way. Metro IAF, you led the way. David Brawley, led the way. Shaun Lee, led the way. Everyone here led the way.”
A successful action at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church yielded recognition, respect and results. Acting as Metro Industrial Areas Foundation with great representation and participation from leaders from Manhattan Together, South Bronx Churches, Long Island CAN, and a re-emerging organization in Queens, leaders won an agreement from the Governor to keep working with Metro IAF NY on Long Island to develop a comprehensive plan to treat opioid addiction. 
Since October 2017, Metro IAF NY has won $500 million to build senior housing; helped bring about a $2.2 billion settlement agreement for NYCHA repairs; built public relationships with the most powerful elected leaders and public officials in the city and state (governor, mayor, state and city commissioners, city council speaker and half the council members); and made the affordable housing crisis the number one story in our city.
Last month, a council person told us indignantly, "after we gave the $500 million, we thought you'd be happy and back off a little bit." Rev. Andre Palmer’s response summarizes what's at stake and why we are so persistent and determined.
"Councilman," Rev. Palmer said, "our people have a boot on their neck. When you have a boot on your neck, you don't want it off a little bit; you want it off all the way." And that's just what we're going to do.
The mayor remains the target. We're organizing council members to choose NYCHA lots suited for senior housing. Then we'll go with them to the mayor to demand he let us start building right away.
Press & Photos:
Photos from EBC-Metro IAF w/Gov. Andrew Cuomo at Mt. Lebanon Assembly (08-26-18)
Photo credit: Paul Hanely @3ilanphotog2
Governor Cuomo Announces 1,000 Affordable Homes Targeted To NYCHA Seniors In Central Brooklyn – NY State
NYCHA land in 4 Brooklyn neighborhoods will give way to senior housing - Curbed
Cuomo touts housing initiative, chides Trump in Brooklyn - Politico
Gov. Cuomo, Cynthia Nixon talk affordable housing ahead of Wednesday debate | WPIX 11 New York
1,000 new affordable units for NYCHA seniors on the way, says Gov. Cuomo | am New York