One America - Fifth Avenue Committee

Program: Fifth Avenue Committee, Brooklyn, NY
Contact(s): Brad Lander, Executive Director: (718) 857-2990 Ext. 16
Purpose: To sustain the community's economic and racial diversity, and ensure that all residents benefit from the area's development

Background Program Operations Outcomes


The Fifth Avenue Committee (FAC) was created in 1977 to rebuild Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn, New York. Home to 43,000 people, the neighborhood is 42 percent Hispanic, 33 percent white, 19 percent black, and 6 percent Asian and other ethnic groups. The demographics of residents assisted by FAC are 60 percent Hispanic, 25 percent black, and 15% white. Nearly all assisted households have incomes below 80 percent of area median income; many live in poverty. FAC is a coalition of neighbors working together to develop housing and jobs, prevent displacement of low-income residents, and ensure that all residents share in the benefits of a revitalized community regardless of their racial background.

Program Operations

FAC's work is carried out through a community-based board of directors, a collaboration of neighborhood leaders, and active residents who serve on committees or participate through the tenant association. The board of directors includes 25 members of staff and leadership, and reflects the community's diversity. FAC provides several services: 1) the development and management of affordable housing for low-income families; 2) the creation of jobs through private enterprises which offer decent wages and training; 3) access to employment and training information; 4) counseling for tenants, homebuyers and public assistance recipients about housing regulations; and 5) guidance for residents on local issues.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

FAC assists 5,000 people annually. It has renovated 500 housing units, including nearly every vacant building in the neighborhood. FAC has helped over 300 residents obtain jobs or implement career plans, and directly created dozens of jobs through its Ecomat Cleaners (a nontoxic alternative to dry-cleaning). FAC also supports commercial redevelopment and construction training. FAC has engaged thousands of people around issues related to housing, gardens and parks, jobs and workfare.

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