phndc.org

The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council

The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC) brings Prospect Heights community members together to build a safer, more just and sustainable neighborhood.


phndc.org is a portal for the exchange of news, events and information among Prospect Heights community members interested in the development of this unique and historic neighborhood.


Owners of historic properties must act before March 31 to qualify for State preservation tax credits

Posted: January 10, 2020 - 10:56am

In 2016, the Prospect Heights National Register Historic District was expanded to include nearly 920 neighborhood buildings. Owners of properties in the National Register district are eligible to receive State and federal tax credits to help offset the cost of rehabilitating their buildings. A map of the NR district, showing eligibility for State and federal tax credit programs, is here

The New York State preservation tax credit program is currently available to owners of income-producing properties, as well as individual homeowners (including owners of cooperative apartments). It provides a tax credit of 20% of the amount of qualified expenses that are part of a project to rehabilitate a historic building. To be eligible, a property must be in a distressed census tract (shown in green on the map).

Unfortunately, after March 31, 2020, properties in the Prospect Heights National Register District will no longer qualify for this credit. However, we understand from New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation that if a property owner sends in a Part 1 application before March 31, they will retain eligibility for the program for five years.

Therefore, property owners who are considering a renovation in the next five years of a building that would otherwise qualify for the New York State preservation tax credit should act quickly to file so they can preserve their elibility for this significant tax benefit. 

For more information, see the New York State Parks web page on tax credits. 

A decade in Prospect Heights

Posted: December 31, 2019 - 5:25pm

As we look forward toward the future of our community in the coming year, it’s a good time to reflect upon the significant changes that have come to Prospect Heights over the last decade. It was this decade that saw the dynamic, scale and quality of life in the northwest part of our neighborhood shaken by the completion of Barclays Center, and the construction of the first four residential buildings at the Atlantic Yards project. It was also the first decade during which nearly 850 historic buildings in Prospect Heights were protected by New York City landmark district designated near the end of 2009. And of course the years since 2010 have been marked by the continued gentrification of the neighborhood.

Here is a look back at these and other events that shaped the last decade in Prospect Heights.

A victory for tenants in Prospect Heights

Posted: June 19, 2019 - 10:41am

Recently, the New York State legislature passed amendments to the rent regulation laws, which will alter or eliminate many common elements of the landlord/rent regulated tenant relationship. These new laws include:

  • Limits on decontrol. Currently, rent regulated apartments whose rent increases beyond a certain point or whose tenants make more than $200,000 a year may become market rate apartments. The new laws abolish or limit this practice.
  • Rent step-ups.  Currently, landlords may raise rents more than the annual amount due to vacancy or major capital improvements, or due to the difference between the maximum legal rent and a lower 'preferential' rent. The new laws abolish or limit these step-ups.
  • Conversion. Currently, landlords may convert a rental building to a co-op or condominium (without evicting existing tenants) if 15% of the units have bona fide purchasers.  The new laws require 51%, and the purchasers must be existing tenants, not investors. 
  • Permanence.  Currently, the rent regulation laws must be periodically reauthorized. These new laws are intended to be permanent. 

The new laws represent, in our opinion, a shift in the balance of power from the landlord of the rent regulated building to the rent regulated tenant: the laws remove many tools and incentives for landlords to vacate and decontrol regulated apartments and turn them into market rate units. Prospect Heights has seen significant displacement of residents by income over the last fifteen years. In PHNDC’s 2016 neighborhood survey, residents identified social and economic diversity as being one of the characteristics most important for a good quality of life. Residents also most frequently cited housing as the area in need of greatest improvement in Prospect Heights. We believe these new laws will make it easier for Prospect Heights tenants in rent stabilized housing to remain in the neighborhood as housing cost continues to increase, so consider their passage a win for our community.

More information about the rights of tenants, and services available to assist them, is available at http://www.phndc.org/KnowYourRights.

PS9 renaming honors suffragist and educator Sarah Smith Garnet

Posted: April 12, 2019 - 10:38am

In February, PS9’s parent-teacher organization voted to rename itself in honor of Sarah Smith Garnet. On April 4, the Department of Education approved the change. At the time when slavery was legal, Garnet became the first African American woman principal in New York. She also co-founded the first African American women's suffrage club. which met locally at 405 Carlton Avenue. Beginning July 1, PS9 will be known as the Sarah Smith Garnet School.

More information about Sarah Smith Garnet is available here.

Cable Training and Employment Program accepting applications

Posted: March 13, 2019 - 9:34am

Brooklyn Workforce Innovations is accepting applications for its Brooklyn Networks Cable Training and Employment program. Learn a skilled trade and find employment in the field of cable installation. Students receive an OSHA 30 Credential and an international cable certification BICSI. Classes are FREE and held at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. Support available for English Language Learners. 

The next dates to apply are:

  • Wednesday March 13, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday March 19, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday March 20, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday March 22, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

BWI staff are available to meet one on one to discuss the program in more depth.

For more information, see https://bwiny.org/brooklyn-networks/apply/.

Campaign to landmark Prospect Heights Apartment House District gains more than 1,000 supporters

Posted: August 7, 2018 - 2:24pm

But neighborhood faces a race against time as landlords alter historic buildings to add extra floors

BROOKLYN, NY, August 7, 2018: The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC), and The Cultural Row Block Association on Eastern Parkway (CuRBA) today announced that their campaign to designate the Prospect Heights Apartment House District as a New York City landmark has so far received the support of more than 1,000 residents and stakeholders.

The Prospect Heights Apartment House District is a six-block area of southeastern Prospect Heights containing 107 buildings constructed between 1909 and 1929. The district documents the change in urban living from row houses to apartments in early 20th century Brooklyn.

“Exceeding one thousand supporters after just a few months demonstrates the breadth and depth of support for this idea,” said PHNDC chair Robert Witherwax, The petition has received more than twice the number of signatures that were collected for the 2009 designation of the brownstone streets of Prospect Heights as the neighborhood’s first historic district.  Mr. Witherwax added, “It’s very telling that nearly half of the supporters – tenants and owners alike – actually live in the apartment buildings within the proposed historic district.  This shows deep grass roots support among all residents for this preservation.”