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.


Managing together during the COVID-19 emergency

Posted: March 23, 2020 - 4:02pm

We each have an important role in fighting the spread of COVID-19, and keeping ourselves, our family and our community members safe and healthy.

Stay home, stop the spread, save lives

Until the spread of novel coronavirus is contained, it is crticially important that Prospect Heights residents stay at home and inside unless travel outside is otherwise required for food, medicine or other essential items. Wear protective gloves when outside your home, keep a safe social distance of six feet from others, and avoid contact with surfaces. Use hand sanitizer and wash hands often. Be sure to cough or sneeze into your elbow. Don't shake hands.

If you live on a street with a block association, consider organizing (online or otherwise) to coordinate help for those not able to leave their homes.

Stay informed

Avoid relying on rumor or hearsay about the crisis. Stay aware of the City's developing response to the crisis by following the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's coronavirus information page, where you will find up-to-date guidance on public activities, businesses that may stay open and those required to close, and what to do if you are concerned you have been exposed to COVID-19. For information on the national crisis and government's response, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's coronavirus page.

Getting food

Shopping

It may be necessary to adjust your shopping habits to reduce your travel outside your home. However, avoid hoarding food and household products.

Although some grocery stores offer home delivery, most now ask that customers who are able to do so shop in person. If you are elderly, sick, or vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, you may order groceries for delivery from the stores listed below. Expect long waits for delivery, and plan accordingly.

Foodtown, 632 Vanderbilt Avenue: Persons not able to shop in person and who live in the Prospect Heights neighborhood may call (718) 783-1887 to order groceries for delivery. Foodtown is also accepting orders via Instacart, but quoted delivery windows may be very long.

Union Market, 342 Flatbush Avenue: Customers may place orders online for confirmation by a representative by phone. As of March 23, Union Market cites a backlog of several days of delivery orders.

Meals for students

The New York City Department of Education is committed to making three free meals available daily for all NYC students. Beginning March 23, three meals a day, including breakfast, will be available to all NYC students Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 1:30 pm at locations across the city. More information is available here.

Food pantries and free meals

Two local organizations providing food to those in need are:

Hope City Empowerment Center, 650-656 Washington Avenue, (718) 837-5698, operates a food pantry Fridays from 9:00 to 11:00am.

CHiPS Soup Kitchen & Women's Shelter, 200 4th Avenue, (718) 237-2962, is currently providing meals to pick up daily from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Check their Facebook page for updates.  

For more food resources, check FoodHelpNYC and the Food Bank for New York City.

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

Posted: January 10, 2020 - 11:56am

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 - 6:25pm

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 - 11:41am

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 - 11:38am

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 - 10:34am

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/.