Quarterly Breakfast on Zoning Issues

Save Our Homes Rally, March 19th

Breakfast With PACC Nov. 9th!
The Fight Against
Predatory Lending










Save the Date

What: Quarterly Breakfast on Zoning Issues
Where: Gibb Mansion 218 Gates Avenue
When : April 26 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
For more details contact
Mary Oyedijo 718-522-2613 x 22 mary_oyedijo@prattarea.org




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Ribbon-Cutting and Official Grand Opening of Two Bedford-Stuyvesant Storefronts; Adjacent Art Gallery and Senegalese Bistro will offer Give-a-Ways, Live Art Auction, and Food Tastings; Elected Officials, Business Leaders, Community Residents to attend.

The opening of a new art gallery and Senegalese bistro on the western edge of Bedford-Stuyvesant will be cause for celebration, as local elected officials, neighborhood residents, and members of local community groups attend a ribbon-cutting for “Yolele African Bistro”, a Senegalese restaurant and “Eleven Ten Gallery” a gallery and office space for the South of the Navy Yard Artists (SONYA).

Located in the heart of Brooklyn’s growing Pular-Senegalses community, “Yolele African Bistro” was opened with the support of Pratt Area Community Council, a non-profit community organization.  PACC’s Economic Development program made it possible for co-owners Pierre Thiam and Cheick Ndaw to bring together their love of food and Pan-African culture in an eclectic space serving critically acclaimed Senegalese inspired cuisines.

“Working with PACC, we were able to achieve our dream,” said Mr. Ndaw   “The Senegalese word Yolele means ‘celebration of life’, a fitting description of our venture.”

Named “Eleven Ten Gallery” after its address, the South of the Navy Yard Artists (SONYA), a nonprofit organization of professional visual artists in Brooklyn, acquired gallery and office space through PACC in the storefront adjacent to “Yolele African Bistro”. The gallery will feature the artwork of SONYA’s 100 members and guest artist in solo and small group exhibitions year -round. The gallery will also host workshops and presentations on all aspects of making, sharing and appreciating the visual arts.

“Pratt Area Community Council develops commercial spaces and identifies quality businesses to occupy them.  We look for tenants that have a stake in investing long-term in the community,” said Melissa Lee, PACC’s Commercial Revitalization Program Manager.  “We’re proud to place these two vibrant establishments adjacent to one another and we welcome the energy they bring to the neighborhood,” she added.

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Gates Avenue Block Party

2004 marks PACC’s 40th Year as a Neighborhood Resource, and to celebrate we held a festive July 10, 2004 Gates Avenue Brooklyn Block Party. PACC invited hundreds of neighborhood residents, PACC tenants and children to relax and enjoy grilled hotdogs, soda, music, and a day of fun. Kids’ activities included appearances by an FDNY ladder company, a Moonwalk, dance contests, face painting, and riding along with Brooklyn’s Black Cowboys. The day also marked one of PACC’s recent major success stories: the Gibb Mansion, service-enriched housing at 218 Gates Avenue. PACC’s transformation of this deteriorated 1860s mansion in Bedford-Stuyvesant has created 71 affordable studio apartments for a mix of low-income tenants and formerly homeless tenants living with HIV and AIDS.

This day-long party took place in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant Community and was co-hosted by PACC and the Gates Avenue Block Association. A good time was had by all and we are very grateful to PACC’s Organizing and Property Manangement staff, and Myrna Williams, President of the Gates Avenue Block Association, for their dedication to this event. PACC also wishes to thank the FDNY, NYC Parks & Recreation , The Bank Of New York, and 98.7 KISS FM for their generous support of PACC and our communities.

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277 Gates Avenue Ribbon Cutting

On Friday June 25th, Pratt Area Community Council (PACC), the New York Housing Development Corporation, Reverend Washington Lundy from the Evening Star Baptist Church, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, and other supporters celebrated the successful re-opening and refurbishing of a 35-unit apartment building at 277 Gates Avenue in Bedford Stuyvesant. The pre-war 1920’s terra cotta building, notable for its fine architectural features, was in foreclosure before PACC acquired it from HUD. Due to generous financial assistance from New York State’s Community Capital Assistance Program, HDC, NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority), the Independence Community Foundation and others, PACC was able to offer affordable housing to existing elderly tenants, as well as to residents who were evicted when the building was foreclosed.

“We want to extend our thanks to all our supporters,” said Deb Howard, Executive Director of PACC. “I am extremely pleased that we can offer a home to returning tenants as well as new homes to moderate and middle-income families in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community,” she added.

The property was originally rehabilitated under the HUD Section 8 program, sponsored by the Evening Star Baptist Church. PACC’s initial involvement in the project, tenant counseling, changed to ownership and management when PACC acquired the building in July of 2002 in order to prevent the site from being auctioned, presumably for market rate development. The building, which has significant architectural value, was moderately rehabilitated based on a scope-of-work approved by HUD, HDC and Bank of America.

“Preservation of existing affordable housing stock in the City is essential,” stated Emily Youssouf, President, HDC. “HDC is pleased to have played a role in financing the rehabilitation of this development, and saving it from being turned into a market-rate building,” she added.

“Energy efficiency plays an important role in keeping housing affordable,” said Peter R. Smith, president of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). “NYSERDA is delighted to play a role in the renovation of 277 Gates Avenue by helping the property reduce its energy costs,” he added. Through the New York Energy $mart Assisted Multifamily Program, NYSERDA provided more than $78,000 to offset the cost of the project.

Other program sponsors include The Independence Community Foundation, Bank of America, and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

The Pratt Area Community Council is a community-based organization founded in 1964. We work to maintain neighborhood diversity and stability while battling displacement in Fort Green, Clinton Hill, and
Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.

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205 Macon Street Ribbon Cutting

On June 24th, in front of newly renovated 205 Macon Street in Brooklyn’s Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood, NYC Housing Commissioner Shaun Donovan and HUD Regional Director Marisol Morales joined PACC’s Deb Howard, Aimee Hazuda, Diane Rodriguez and several first-time homebuyers for a very special event. This festive ribbon-cutting highlighted the unique partnership between the City and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and it marked dramatic progress in the effort to address the 203 (k) foreclosure issue.

The 203K Neighborhood Homes program is the positive result of a partnership between the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and NYC’s Dept. of Housing Preservation and Development to remedy the situation of HUD’s portfolio of 203K foreclosures. In 2001, HUD and the City committed almost $168 million over five years to rehabilitate approximately 500 203(k) properties. With subsidies provided by HUD, experienced nonprofit housing developers such as PACC, and construction lending provided by LISC and the Enterprise Foundation, these homes are now being renovated and sold to qualified, existing tenants and community residents. This 10 building project, including 205 Macon Street, was developed by PACC. The Enterprise Foundation provided a $2.27mil construction loan and HUD a $1.35mil subsidy. Six of the ten buildings are affordable to families making less than 80% of area median income, two between 81-90% and two 91-100% AMI. All buildings are energy efficient, “green buildings.”

HPD’s Shaun Donovan thanked the many individuals and organizations responsible for the success of the 203 (k) Neighborhood Homes project, noting PACC as “one of our long-standing and important partners.” Other speakers included Reverand David Dyson, Pastor at Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, who led a blessing of 205 Macon before taking credit for the day’s perfect weather. Ingram Loyd from HUD’s Homeownership Center in Philadelphia was also present. Putting the importance of this program in a local context, PACC Executive Director Deb Howard noted “There are over 450 homes in the 203 (k) foreclosure project in Bed Stuy alone” Finally, Norleen Noble, the first time homebuyer of 205 Macon Street, described her long journey to homeownership this way: “It’s worth it!”

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201 Dekalb
Between Carlton Street & Adelphi Street
Every Tuesday at 6 PM

For tenants experiencing landlord related problems, including evictions and repairs.
RSVP (718) 522-2613 x16

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The Pratt Area Community Council (PACC) was established in 1964 by a group of volunteers seeking to improve conditions in our neighborhood. PACC and the communities we serve have since changed dramatically, and this 40th Annual Meeting presents an ideal opportunity to examine this change. We are eager for your insights on ways to maintain an effective and involved PACC membership and having you participate in the planning process as we chart our course for the future.

This year offers many opportunities to mark PACC's 40 years as a neighborhood resource including our Gates Avenue Block Party on Saturday, July 10th and our Gala event at the Palm House on September 30th, so save the dates! We look forward to seeing all our members on June 9, as together we begin to celebrate 40 years of PACC.

The 2004 PACC Annual Membership Meeting Will take place Wednesday, June 9, 2004, from 6:30-8:30 pm at Lafayette Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn. Call (718)-522-2613 x 22 for more details.

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201 Dekalb Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
tel: 718.522.2613