Our Community Action Program aims to look at the root causes of poverty and hunger by engaging our members in community organizing and advocacy efforts to improve public policies impacting their daily lives. Through this program we work with our local representatives to ensure our members’ voices are heard, and legislation reflects their needs in their communities.
Earlier this year, we had a major victory with the passing of 5 bills protecting the rights of three-quarter house tenants. On February 15th, Mayor deBlasio signed these bills into law. We couldn’t be more proud of the work of our partners at the Three-Quarter House Tenant Organizing Project (TOP), MFY Legal Services, Inc., Voices Of Community Activists & Leaders (VOCAL-NY), and our other allies in the fight to protect three-quarter house residents!
The bills are:
- Bill #1168: Prohibits Forced treatment making it illegal for abusive landlords to mandate treatment as a condition to live in the three quarter house.
- Bill# 1171: Expands documents accepted for relocation services throughout the city making it less difficult for tenants who may not have all their documents to prove they were in fact living in a TQH.
- Bill#1167: Lifts time limit for relocation for a person to apply for emergency relocation services through the city.
- Bill #1164: HRA must provide Know Your Rights handouts to all tenants receiving public assistance.
- Bill # 1166: TQH Task Force must report findings and make quarterly reports to the City Council on its findings.
On March 1st, the Neighbors Together team and a group of our members headed to Albany to talk to our representatives about hunger and poverty in Brooklyn, and advocate for more funding for HPNAP, the Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program.
On June 7th, Neighbors Together attended the rally on Three Quarter Housing along with TOP members and VOCAL-NY. In attendance, were Commissioner of HRA and DHS Steven Banks and HPD Deputy Commissioner Vito Mustaccuillo. They discussed the 5 Bills signed into law to strengthen and expand protections for tenants.
During the renovation period, our Community Action Program along with our Empowerment Program staff were stationed at St.John’s Bread and Life. Our Community Organizer Cynthia Agyemang, focused on outreach to service providers in the area whose focus is on providing services to women in order to build relationships and strengthen services with women in the community. This outreach included all of the women’s shelters within central Brooklyn.
Cynthia has worked with Community Board 16 and Magnolia House, on Know Your Rights sessions, and presentations on services provided by Neighbors Together. Our Community Action Program holds weekly membership meetings, and regular Know Your Rights trainings with our members.