BNIA’s service area spans Prospect Heights, Crown Heights, Ocean Hill/Brownsville and the adjacent neighborhoods. The boundaries are Flatbush Avenue (west) East New York Avenue (east), Atlantic Avenue (north), Eastern Parkway (south). Both Community Boards 8 and 16 and the contiguous areas can be characterized as communities which are ethnically diverse with African Americans being the largest ethnic group. According to U.S. Census Bureau 2000 Data, these areas are reported to be populated with low and moderate income earners with incomes that are below the citywide average.
BNIA’s mission is to empower low and moderate income residents of Central Brooklyn and its surrounding areas; to encourage and support leadership, neighborhood development and community participation in order to address the housing and economic development needs of the area.
The Brooklyn Neighborhood Improvement Association Inc. provides income to over 50 families. Our management team and staff comprise of people of great integrity, passion, performance and excellence with proven track record of achievements and over 200 combined years of industry experience. Our purpose of enriching lives in the community and our commitment to our cause is evident in everything we do.
- BNIA is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide mortgage and comprehensive housing counseling.
- BNIA is a Certified Housing Development Organization by New York State Homes and Community Renewal Agency as well as the New York City Housing Preservation and Development Agency
Over 1,000 individuals and numerous building owners and tenant associations annually seek BNIA’s counseling and organizing services. BNIA’s housing counseling and organizing unit conduct several workshops during the year. BNIA played a major role in the 1982 ousting of “Tedco” who owned five buildings in the neighborhood from the community. Tedco was known for his tenant abuse.
BNIA conducts 7 major housing counseling and organizing programs which are funded by the following agencies:
- US Housing & Urban Development (HUD) – 203k Program. BNIA has gut-rehabilitating 3 buildings for the first time homebuyers. The properties are (a) 1572 St. Marks Avenue already sold to community residents, (b) 423 Saratoga Avenue, sold to community business man and (c) 2195 Bergen Street, Brooklyn which is still available for sale.
- NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development – Third Party Transfer (TPT) Program. BNIA is currently working on 4 buildings (21 units) for rental – NIA HDFC Inc. Phase 2 located at 96 Brooklyn Avenue, 177 Rogers Avenue, 295a Bainbridge Street and 233 Ralph Avenue, Brooklyn – under the Third Party Transfer program. Aspire Houses Phase 1 (2 buildings, 11 units) was completed in 2008 and rented to low and moderate income community residents.
- New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR)/NPP. Under the Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP), BNIA receives funding for community activities. The core activities focus on: assisting tenants and landlords with housing issues, mitigating homelessness by preventing evictions and displacement; providing homeownership programs and identifying housing programs. Over 10,000 clients have been assisted with this program
- New York State Division & Community Renewal (DHCR)/HTF. BNIA is funded under NYS Housing Trust Fund Foreclosure Prevention Program to provide foreclosure intervention and prevention program to community residents in Brooklyn, NY. About 600 homeowners have been served under this program
- NYS SonnyMae/NFMC. BNIA works with Neighborworks Foreclosure Mitigation Counsel and NYS SonnyMae to provide foreclosure intervention and prevention program to community residents of New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties. About 700 homeowners have benefitted from this program
- New York City Department of Housing, Preservation and Development (HPD). The Community Consultant Contract provides the opportunity for BNIA to conduct anti-abandonment activities. These entail surveying properties for disrepair and neglect and the facilitation of ‘voluntary repair agreements’ between the landlord and HPD for repairs in order to reduce the potential for blighted and abandoned properties.500 homeowners and tenants have been involved in this program
In 1983 BNIA set about to assess its role in the community and to develop long range plans for its future development. In 1984, a neighborhood survey funded by the New York Community Trust led to the planning and establishment of NIA Development. NIA Development is an economic development project of BNIA which seeks to counter balance the housing counseling and community organizing activities with physical development and maintenance of housing.
NIA Development has developed various housing projects resulting in over 603 units of affordable housing which include the following:
- Kianga House – Completed Kianga House in 1988, a transitional facility for homeless single mothers and their children. To date, Kianga House has been responsible for placing over 600 families into permanent housing.
- Johns Place Family Center – 102 units of transitional housing
- Joint Approach – 8 units of permanent sweat equity cooperative housing
- Veterans Arms Apartments – 19 units of rental housing for veterans
- Hewitt House – 69 units of affordable rental housing
- Crown Prospect Houses – 120 units of affordable rental housing
- Bankole Houses – 42 units of affordable housing for low & moderate income
- Iyanu Houses (NRP) – 38 units of low and moderate income housing
- Livonia Houses – 11 units of affordable housing
- Aspire Houses Phase I – 11 units of affordable housing
- Aspire Houses Phase II – 24 units of affordable housing
- BNIA/Stuyvesant Houses – 142 units of affordable rental housing
Project Helping Hands was established in 1980 as a summer employment program that provided meaningful employment at jobs that offer skills development as well as provide community service
In 1992 BNIA was selected as a community based organization to operate New York City Summer Youth employment Program (SYEP) funded by New York City Department of Youth and Community Development. BNIA has enrolled and placed over 15,000 youths in jobs under the Summer Youth Employment Program. In the summer of 2014, BNIA placed 450 youths in various work roles.