The Pratt Center for Community Development and community partners Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation, IMPACCT Brooklyn, and Kinetic Communities Consulting have been selected to receive $1,942,500 for an Affordable Small Home Sustainability (ASHS) Initiative as part of the federal government funding bill signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 15. Over the past year, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries helped to highlight this need for funding. Pratt Institute President Frances Bronet joined with Pratt leadership, Pratt Center, and local community partners in welcoming Congressman Hakeem Jeffries to the Brooklyn campus on March 24 to thank him in person for his support in securing the community impact funding.

“We are very grateful for this significant funding and the leadership of Congressman Hakeem Jeffries,” President Bronet said. “It will empower Pratt Center and our incredible local partners to do this vital work to safeguard affordable housing for Brooklyn homeowners and forefront climate solutions. Partnering in the community is in Pratt’s DNA and we are committed to continuing to work together to make positive change.”

The ASHS Initiative was developed by the Pratt Center for Community Development to preserve affordable housing for 600 Brooklyn residents through a package of energy retrofits, health and safety measures, and home repairs to approximately 75 two-family homes in low-income areas in Brooklyn and Queens. Small homes are a vital source of affordable housing in New York City, and maintaining the affordability and sustainability of this housing stock is critical to the city’s ability both to provide housing to low- and moderate-income residents and to achieve climate justice in its most directly impacted communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged this country deepening the affordable housing crisis. The Pratt Center for Community Development along with Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation and IMPACCT Brooklyn do the important work of maintaining the affordability and sustainability of homes in New York City to expand housing access to low- and moderate-income residents, particularly seniors on fixed incomes, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I was proud to deliver $1.9 million in federal funds for the Pratt Center to preserve and grow affordable housing in Brooklyn,” said Congressman Jeffries.

“Thank you to Congressman Hakeem Jeffries for supporting Pratt Center’s work towards a just climate future,” Pratt Center Interim Director Lena Afridi said. “A clean energy transition must be led by the communities that have historically been at the front lines of climate change. Not only will this generous funding allow us and our community partners to preserve existing affordable homes, ensure lower energy bills, and provide cleaner indoor air quality, it will also allow for intergenerational wealth generation in communities of color by ensuring that these homes are in good repair to pass on to the next generation of New Yorkers.”

Added to $1 million in support already received from JPMorgan Chase, the ASHS Initiative will have an immediate impact on Brooklyn’s most low-income communities and is also designed to be replicated nationally.