Foundation’s Long-Term Commitment to Affordable Housing and Workforce Development Recognized

On February 3, Brooklyn Community Foundation was honored by the Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) for its work in helping to build stronger communities in the borough through its philanthropic investments in affordable housing, economic development, workforce training and a range of social, cultural and educational initiatives. Since 1998, the Foundation has invested nearly $4 Million in the work of the Fifth Avenue Committee and its affiliate, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations. FAC’s Opportunity Award acknowledges the Foundation for its long-term commitment to the betterment of Brooklyn’s neighborhoods and people.

“We are extremely proud of the Foundation’s deep and long-lasting partnership with FAC. Together we have been able to target our efforts and find new ways to get affordable housing built in Red Hook, train local residents with the skills they need to get good jobs in transportation, carpentry and the cable industry, and help pioneer new ways to encourage savings and asset building. New opportunities for housing and jobs have opened up for Brooklynites because of FAC’s brilliant and effective work. We are thrilled to have supported these important efforts and are honored to receive this recognition from FAC,” said Marilyn Gelber, President of the Brooklyn Community Foundation.

The Foundation has a long history of working in Red Hook. Its investments in FAC and its affiliate, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations (BWI) date back to 1998, when the Foundation made an early grant to Red Hook on the Road, a training program that helps people get their Class C licenses to drive trucks, buses and shuttles. This was followed in 2002 by the establishment of the first employment-based matched savings program which helped graduates of FAC’s training programs build assets to be used to further their education and build job skills. 

In 2005, the Foundation made a Project-Related Investment (PRI) of $3,000,000 in the development of Red Hook Homes (RHH), a new 60 unit home ownership project which mixes market rate and affordable units; a third of the homes are targeted to public housing residents, including some from the Red Hook Houses, who can afford to buy their own homes. 

Other grants include a 2010 grant from the Foundation’s special Haitian Community Hope & Healing Fund, to BWI to help provide residents from Brooklyn’s Haitian community to obtain training in carpentry and wood working skills. 

Click here to learn more about the Community Development fund.