2017 has been one for the books, and we were glad to cap it off with some exciting outcomes from our work facilitating stakeholder engagement and planning processes that help strengthen communities. We’re also glad to take this moment to send holiday cheer and wishes for a happy new year.

We celebrated a big win for New York City tenants.

Council Member Brad Lander joins housing partners and advocates to announce the CONH legislation.

We are proud to have supported new legislation led by Council Member Brad Lander, NYC Housing Preservation and Development, and many housing policy partners that protects tenants from harassment and displacement. The “Certificate of No Harassment” (CONH) legislation requires building owners seeking to demolish or make significant alterations to their building to go through a process to prove they have not engaged in any tenant harassment prior to obtaining the permits needed from the NYC Department of Buildings.  If a landlord is found to have harassed tenants, they will be unable to retain the necessary permits for five years–unless they commit to converting a portion of their building to affordable housing for low-income families. To help inform elements of the legislation, we facilitated a series of working sessions for the Tenant Harassment Prevention Working Group, comprised of several city council members and housing policy experts from advocacy groups, the real estate industry, city agencies, and research organizations. The Working Group process leveraged data analysis and diverse perspectives to prioritize actionable opportunities in process and regulation to protect tenants. The resultant legislation will help ensure that tenants are protected and not driven out—all necessary steps to safeguard vulnerable low-income renters from being displaced.

And, we joined the City of Trenton in celebrating its vision for the future.

A Trenton resident participates in one of the Trenton250 public hearings to create a community-driven vision for the future.

Looking ahead to its 250th anniversary in 2042, the City of Trenton has developed a master plan as a blueprint to position itself as a leading 21st century city, encompassing economic development, education, housing, land use, and transit policies. The plan, Trenton 250, reflects a community-driven vision that will drive opportunities for citizens, businesses, and government, and includes key investments in civic institutions and the construction of inclusive public spaces. We worked with a team of consultants led by Group Melvin Design, applying our expertise in stakeholder engagement and workforce development policy to work on education and workforce strategies that benefit both youth and adults. By working with local government, residents, schools and colleges, we were able to determine  opportunities to support residents in pursuing educational and career goals. We helped outline over 20 education and workforce initiatives to improve the lives of Trenton residents. Read our blog post for the full story of Trenton250’s evolution.

Clearly, ‘tis the season to celebrate!
From our team to yours, all the best for a joyful holiday season and healthy new year. We look forward to great things in 2018.