The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) today announced the launch of its “Taking it to the Streets” campaign which will target difficult to reach populations -such as recent immigrants and the elderly- to provide information on HPD’s housing programs and services. HPD is the nation's largest municipal housing preservation and development agency and a major responsibility of the agency is to encourage preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs, and enforcement of housing quality standards. HPD is also implementing Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation’s history. “Taking it to the Streets” is led by the agency’s Office of Community Partnerships and the Division of Housing Education Services.
“Taking it to the Streets” will visit the City neighborhoods in HPD’s Handy Van, a mobile classroom that provides housing education to residents in their own neighborhood. The Handy Van offers information and training on basic home repairs, electrical safety, gas safety, enhanced affordability through energy efficiency, and home health safety issues. Neighborhoods targeted in the campaign were selected based on the highest density of immigrant households in the City according to the US Census Bureau: Elmhurst/Corona, Jackson Heights and Sunnyside/Woodside in Queens; East Flatbush in Brooklyn and Washington Heights in Manhattan. Bushwick in Brooklyn and the South Bronx were also included in the campaign because of special HPD programs that are being implemented in these neighborhoods such as The Bushwick Initiative and Melrose Commons Housing Development. The Bushwick Initiative is a two-year pilot program started in 2005 to preserve residential housing, plan for appropriate development of remaining vacant land, and stimulate commercial development in a 23-square block area adjacent to the area’s Maria Hernandez Park. Melrose Commons Housing Development is a construction project in the South Bronx that will provide approximately 2,000 two- and three- family homes affordable to moderate- and middle-income families and approximately 300 middle-income apartments in three- and four-story buildings.
During “Taking it to the Streets”, the Handy Van will be staffed by Housing Education Services instructors who will inform people about housing education programs. Office of Community Partnerships staff will answer questions on issues such as housing loan information. HPD’s Homebuyer Unit staff will also be on site to raise awareness about HPD’s Down Payment Assistance Program which provides qualified homebuyers with up to 6% of a home's purchase price toward the down payment or closing costs on a 1-4 family home, a condominium, or a cooperative in one of the five boroughs of New York City. HPD staff will also provide information and answer questions on a variety of topics including home health safety issues such as lead and mold abatement, energy efficiency, landlord-tenants relations, how to search for affordable housing and fair housing issues. The Handy Van allows individuals to walk through and examine educational displays while an HPD instructor serves as their guide.
The campaign is also aimed at Limited English Proficiency Audiences as part of HPD’s language access strategies to reach out to newest New Yorker households (recently arrived immigrant families), whose first language is not English. Materials and presentations will be offered in languages appropriate to the area being served using HPD’s wireless translation technology. HPD is working with its community partners and immigrant groups and Council Members to identify the best methods to reach out to the highest number of residents in the selected City areas. HPD anticipates around 250 residents taking advantage of the campaign’s programs in each stop. “Taking it to the streets” will run until December 7th every Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00am to 4:00pm in selected City neighborhoods.
For more information on the “Taking it to the Streets” campaign and to see a complete calendar of activities by neighborhood, visit HPD web site at www.nyc.gov/hpd
WHAT: “Taking it to the Streets” Campaign
WHO: NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development
Bushwick and East Flatbush in Brooklyn
Elmhurst-Corona, Jackson Heights and Sunnyside-Woodside in Queens
Washington Heights and Inwood in Manhattan
South Bronx in the Bronx.
Tuesday November 28th and Thursday November 30th, 10:00am to 4:00pm, Nostrand and Flatbush Avenues, Intersection on Hillel Place, in front HSBC Bank
(Every Tuesday and Thursday thereafter until December 7th in selected neighborhoods. No stops on the week of November 20th owing to Thanksgiving).
WHY: “Taking it to the Streets” will provide valuable information on HPD’s variouseducational and housing programs for difficult to reach populations by visiting theircommunities with HPD’s Handy Van.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation’s largest municipal housing development agency and is implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation’s history. HPD also encourages the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards.
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