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The preservation, development and management of affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, community and economic development initiatives and human services that effect social change in central Brooklyn.
NEBHDCo has four lines of business: Affordable Housing and Real Estate Development, Property Management, Asset Management and Community Programs. Our mission is supported by the vision to rebuild sustainable communities through long-term community based assets. As a leading affordable housing developer in Central Brooklyn since 1985, NEBHDCo has to date planned, joint-ventured, and/or developed 2093 housing units of which 1082 are owned by the organization, along with nearly 17,000 square feet of commercial space throughout the central Brooklyn neighborhood. This volume represents over $109 million in capital investments, and nearly 600 new jobs created in the community. We have built our real estate portfolio through the acquisition of distressed public properties and joint-venture partnerships. The most extensive of our partnerships has been with The Arker Companies, a Long Island-based private builder/developer. Our Community Programs Department began as a tenant and community organizing effort in the mid-1980’s. We now work across two broad areas, with community outreach still a critical need: Healthy Food and Living, and Tenant and Community Supports.
Healthy Food and Living:
Golden Harvest Client Choice Food Pantry, emergency food and benefits supports in a beautiful new 2-story facility:
Emergency food distribution on the main floor, supermarket-style client choice model
Increased availability of and education about fresh produce, including from local sources
Demonstration kitchen, classroom and 3-station benefits center on the second floor
Communities for Healthy Food Bed-Stuy, a food justice and food access initiative, with a holistic approach to bettering the food system in Bed-Stuy through five main program areas:
Urban Gardens and Farms: Three gardens/urban farms growing food for the pantry, a fourth food garden at our senior residence building, and a hydroponics facility in planning stages. One urban farm includes a paid youth internship and training program. Planning for a school partnership to begin in Fall 2014.
Advocacy and Community Building: Food Empowerment Education and Sustainability Team (FEEST) brings together youth to prepare and share great healthy food and engage in social issues that affect their lives; community events such as film screenings, book signings and cooking events gather community, to identify leaders for future organizing and encourage healthy eating.
Culinary and Nutrition Knowledge Sharing: Programs that support community members to learn and teach culinary skills and nutrition basics. Our Just Food Community Chef training program began in July 2014. Once trained, these chefs will lead cooking demonstrations and culinary classes throughout the neighborhood and across our programs. Family Cook Productions Adult and Family cooking classes led by NEBHDCo Community Chefs will begin in Fall 2014.
Retail Work:Working with existing retail, such as bodegas and supermarkets, to increase healthy food options. New food retail options: with Harvest Home, in July 2014, opened a new Farmers’ Market for low-income people; developing a new Central Brooklyn Food Co-op, with local partners and residents.
Good Food Jobs: Food industry jobs training, and workshops and entrepreneurial support for cooperative food businesses.
Tenant and Community Supports:
Benefits referrals: For SNAP, immigration services, legal services, health checks, and other services provided through partner agencies operating in the local area; virtual tax prep offered directly. Additional direct services planned for Fall 2014 include health screenings, SNAP, SCRIE & DRIE assistance.
Employment and educational supports: through outreach and testing at our Opportunity Resource Center, referrals to local workforce partners including St. Nick’s Alliance, the HOPE Program, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow. Onsite classes and a 6-station computer lab are also in development, for Fall 2014.
Kosciuszko Garden Learning Center, a beautiful ornamental public garden at 385 Kosciuszko Street
Winter coat drives, Back to School events, Thanksgiving community meals.
- Lisa Boyd
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