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.


COVID-19 resources for Prospect Heights residents and businesses

Posted: April 2, 2020 - 3:19pm

All of our community members are coping in some way with the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 emergency. Below are resources to help you understand the nature of the outbreak, where to go for medical help, what services are available to help you and your family, and where you can volunteer to help or donate to organizations providing relief.

This list will be updated periodically as new information becomes available. You can also follow PHNDC's Facebook page for updates.

General health information and emergency policy

New York City Department of Health  COVID-19 page, with latest governmental guidance

Cases, hospitalizations and deaths  in New York City

CDC guide to prevention, symptoms and a self-checker

What to do if you or a family member has been exposed or is sick, and where to go for testing

NYC guidance for funerals and burials

Seniors and vulnerable individuals

If you are elderly, sick, or vulnerable to COVID-19 infection, you may order groceries for delivery from Foodtown, 632 Vanderbilt Avenue: Persons not able to shop in person and who live in the Prospect Heights neighborhood may order groceries for delivery by email to foodtown632@gmail.com, or call (718) 783-1887. When your order is ready, Foodtown will call you to take payment by phone. 

Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center has prepared a comprehensive list of food resources for the Prospect Heights community.

To sign up for Medicare or to change your plan, visit medicare.gov. To learn more about your rights under Medicare and understand plan options, visit Medicare Interactive.

The Department for the Aging (DFTA) works with case-management agencies to provide in-home care for people age 60 and older who cannot leave home and have financial need.

ThriveNYC offers mental health services you can access from home.

Workers who have lost income or benefits due to COVID-19

Guide to available aid based on personal circumstances

NEW: Eligible New Yorkers can get free tax preparation help from the City of New York. Find out more.

NEW: If you are facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, you can request debt collection agencies to stop contacting you about your existing debt. The City of New York has created a template letter you can use for this purpose.

New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) has launched the NY COVID-19 Legal Resource Hotline to help New York City residents impacted by COVID-19 to get answers to their legal questions.

If you have had to miss work because you were sick due to COVID-19 and work more than 80 hours in a calendar year, you can claim paid sick leave and contact the City’s Department of Health Call Center at 855-491-2667 to get the necessary medical documentation. Contact the NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection if you face retaliation or face other adverse action such as threats or discipline for using your sick leave.

If your work schedule was reduced as a result of the coronavirus and you are unable to pay your rent, you can apply for a Cash Assistance special grant request to get benefits for emergencies.

Many banks are offering various options for customers with mortgages, loans and consumer debt concerned about payments. See this list of financial institutions to find what your bank may offer. (A similar list for credit unions is here.)

Apply for New York State unemployment benefits

Register for help finding a job through the City’s Workforce 1 program.

Find out how the CARES Act affects your unemployment benefits

People in need of health care assistance

Enroll for health coverage through New York State of Health marketplace

NYC Care provides low-cost or free healthcare for all New Yorkers regardless of ability to pay or immigration status. Call the 24-hour NYC Care service at 646-NYC-CARE (646-692-3373) to enroll and make an appointment.

Individuals and families in need of food

Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center has prepared a comprehensive list of food resources for the Prospect Heights community.

The City of New York is now providing free meals for everyone in need. Meals Hubs will operate for children and families from 7:30 am to 11:30 am, and for adults from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. In Prospect Heights, I.S. 340 at 227 Sterling Place is operating as a Meals Hub. Find other locations here.

You can now use your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to shop online for fresh produce and groceries. Amazon, ShopRite and Walmart now accept SNAP benefits for online orders and will deliver to you. (Note that SNAP benefits cannot be used to pay delivery fees. Be sure to confirm an online store delivers to your home address.)

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.)

Find a food pantry with FoodHelp NYC.

People who cannot leave home and can’t afford to have food delivered can sign up to have food delivered free by the City of New York.

Health care professionals and other critical workers

Healthcare providers, transit employees, first responders (NYPD, FDNY, EMS), critical City workforce, and those working at direct food-support non-profit organizations can obtain a free one-year Citi Bike membership by signing up through their employers. You must register by May 31. If your employer does not yet offer this benefit, they should email HeroBikes@Lyft.com to obtain enrollment information to distribute to staff. There is no cost for employers to enroll.

COVID-19 information for health care professionals

Donate personal protective equipment (PPE).

To volunteer with the City, register for ServNY, then register with the NYC Medical Reserve Corps.

The City is seeking businesses that can provide critical medical supplies.

Business owners

PHNDC has launched a series of Slack channels for local business owners to discuss recovery from the COVID-19 emergency with advocates from IMPACCT Brooklyn and the Business Outreach Center. Register to pariticpate.

The New York Hospitality Alliance has published a guide for reopening restaurants.

The Small Business Legal Relief Alliance is a group of legal service organizations and law firms providing free consultations with pro bono lawyers assisting NYC small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses, non-profits, cooperatives and self-employed people are eligible for assistance. For more information, contact Dale Charles at IMPACCT Brooklyn.

Rethink Food has announced a program to fund up to 30 restaurants to assist with food need and access during the COVID-19 emergency. Selected restaurants will operate for at least 45 days as food distribution centers, creating meals for pick up and delivery. Restaurants are to use their existing food supply. Rethink will also work to get additional food from its various donation partners.

Read the guidance from the New York State Department of Health for essential food businesses operating during the COVID-19 emergency.

Find out if your business is an essential business exempt from workforce reduction executive orders.

Find out about COVID-19 related grants from the Small Business Administration.

Register to sell supplies to the City of New York.

Financial assistance from the City of New York for businesses impacted by COVID-19

How to volunteer or donate

The North Flatbush BID is partnering with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to raise funds for local businesses recovering from the COVID-19 emergency. You can donate here.

New York Cares is coordinating volunteers with the City of New York.

Brooklyn Community Foundation has created a COVID-19 fund for donations to vulnerable communities in Brooklyn, especially older adults, people with compromised immune systems, low-wage workers, and people who are unhoused. Find out more and donate.

The Food Bank for NYC is accepting donations to provide emergency food to vulnerable New Yorkers.

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/.