Home Ownership Services

Foreclosure Aversion

Homeowners faced with losing their homes due to foreclosure, as a result of sub-prime loans, problem tenants, repair (problems) or tax issues are counseled in various ways.  They are educated about the various loss mitigation options in which to bring their mortgages to better conditions.  They are also assisted in areas such as:

  • Foreclosure prevention
  • Foreclosure intervention
  • Refinance options
  • Applying for home improvement loans/ predatory lending prevention
  • Loan Modifications
  • Tax exempt application assistance

Home Acquisition

BNIA promotes affordable homeownership and expanded homeownership opportunities to underserved community residents in Central Brooklyn and East New York by rehabilitating and marketing homes.  Projects completed to date:

  • Livonia Houses – 3 formerly HUD owned properties in Brownsville
  • Nia Homes, HDFC, – 8 formerly city-owned properties in Crown Heights
  • Ajoshe Homes, HDFC, – 5 properties in Brownsville and Crown Heights


Housing Counseling And Referrals

Tenants in substandard housing, or threatened by eviction or unaffordable rent increases receive:

  • Assistance with Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE) applications and counseling
  • Assistance with Senior Citizens Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) applications and counseling
  • Assistance with resolving tenant/landlord disputes
  • Information concerning removal of housing code violations
  • Information concerning tenant rights and responsibilities
  • Referral for rent assistance and subsidies

Tenant and Block Association Organizing

BNIA has served over 900 tenants, landlords and general community residents in organizing associations.  Some of the services provided include

  • Helping tenants in substandard buildings to improve quality of life
  • Give referrals to various outreach agencies, transitional housing shelters and Single Resident Occupancies (SROs) for the homeless
  • Landlords and tenants workshops
  • Workshops on tenant rights
  • Information and training about forming tenant associations
  • Assistance in assuming management of owner-neglected or abandoned buildings


Transitional Housing

Kianga House, a BNIA subsidiary, assists homeless single mothers and their children transition to permanent housing. Over 600 families have been placed into permanent housing through Kianga House. The residents receive:

  • Housing for the family
  • Social service support while in transition
  • Assistance in finding permanent housing
  • Parenting and job readiness skills
  • Follow-up after relocation to permanent housing


Housing Development and Management

BNIA has developed various housing projects resulting in over 603 units of affordable housing.  Projects completed to date:

  • Kianga House– 17 units of transitional housing for homeless single mothers and their young children
  • 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 rental housing
  • Iyanu Houses (NRP) – 38 units of affordable rental housing
  • Livonia Houses – 11 units of affordable housing
  • Aspire Houses Phase I – 11 units of affordable rental housing
  • Aspire Houses Phase II – 24 Units of affordable housing
  • BNIA/Stuyvesant Houses – 142 units of affordable rental housing


Youth Empowerment

BNIA has a commitment to youth development and addresses the needs of community youth through various sponsored programs and activities. BNIA has sponsored the Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) since 1992.  Funded by the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), BNIA’s SYEP provides work experience to economically disadvantaged youths (ages 16-24) who are residents of Crown Heights, Brownsville, Ocean Hill and the surrounding areas.   The program combines on the job experience with career exploration, work readiness preparation and academic enhancement activities.

Over the years, BNIA SYEP has provided work experience to more over 15,000 participants by placing them on jobs throughout the city. In the summer of 2014, BNIA placed 450 youths in various work roles and hopes to increase this number in future summers.