Many residents in the Northwest Bronx spend over 50% of their income on rent and yet live with some of the highest rates of building violations in the city. Since our inception, NWBCCC has lead the fight for safe and affordable housing in the Bronx and beyond.
Continuing our legacy of deep leadership development, we form tenants associations building by building, and take collective action to end landlord harassment, win repairs, and live together in dignity. We also challenge the city’s ongoing affordability crisis and rising tide of gentrification through coalitions that hold landlords and banks accountable, legislate tenant protections, and lead planning to safeguard our communities.
We facilitate intensive leadership development in dozens of buildings at a time to support community members to run their own tenants associations. And we bring tenant leaders together in regular “know your rights” workshops, legal clinics, and housing committee meetings, in order to sharpen organizing skills and launch shared campaigns.
Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision
With the 2014 announcement of the City’s plan to rezone 93 blocks along Jerome Avenue, we joined with Community Action for Safe Apartments to launch the Bronx Coalition for a Community Vision. Together, we undertook a massive organizing campaign to demand a rezoning that reinvests in our community, and ensures poor and working class people of color are not pushed out of their homes or businesses by incoming development.
Through our engagement with thousands of residents in community visioning sessions, we released a comprehensive policy platform based on our four principles:
real affordable housing;
good jobs and local hire;
strong anti-harassment and anti-displacement policies;
real community participation.
We have mobilized community and labor through marches and at every stage of the rezoning process to demand the City fulfill on these principles.
Stabilizing New York City
We join with 15 community organizations from across the city, Urban Justice Center, and Urban Homesteading Assistance Board to challenge predatory equity, tenant harassment, and gentrification. Together, we take on the city’s worst landlords for patchwork repairs, bogus eviction cases, and harassment.
Tenants Rights Coalition
We partner with Legal Aid Society, Legal Services NYC, and other Bronx community organizations to challenge displacement of low-income tenants in neighborhoods where illegal harassment practices by landlords are rampant. We leverage this professional legal counsel to support individual cases of harassment and bolster our organizing in buildings that are without gas, heat, and other essential services for unacceptable periods of time.
Right to Counsel Coalition
Through our citywide organizing efforts, we passed the first law in the nation to establish universal access to counsel in housing cases for low-income tenants. This means that tenants no longer have to fear unjust eviction as retaliation for organizing to hold their landlords accountable. We are using this as a tool to fight gentrification in the Northwest Bronx, which has some of the highest rates of eviction in New York City.
Coalition Against Tenant Harassment
We expanded New York City’s Certificate of No Harassment Program to require that when landlords seek a permit from the Department of Buildings for renovation or major construction, they must first demonstrate that they do not have a history of harassing their tenants.
In 2017, as part of citywide efforts, we passed the Right to Counsel Act, guaranteeing legal representation to any low-income resident facing eviction.
In 2016, with pressure from NWBCCC and housing justice organizations across the City, New York City’s Rent Guidelines Board voted for a “rent freeze,” or 0% rent increase, for the first time ever.
In 2011, following an intensive organizing campaign with tenants of the Milbank Private Equity Portfolio, the City announced the Proactive Preservation Initiative to address deteriorating conditions in multifamily buildings before they endanger the health and safety of residents and threaten the quality of the surrounding neighborhood. The Milbank tenants negotiated a new agreement with landlord Steven Finkelstein to move their buildings out of foreclosure.
In 1992, after a multi-year campaign, the CEO of Freddie Mac met with us and agreed to revise its lending policies, reducing over-financing and the poor housing conditions it led to in the Bronx and beyond.
In 1991, we pressured the US Congress General Accounting Office to release a report documenting abuse in the Freddie Mac multifamily program in the Bronx that led to rising rents and decreased services.
At our 15th Anniversary in 1989, members celebrated the establishment of 66 buildings owned by tenants or nonprofit housing corporations, and over 30 vacant buildings rehabilitated.
In 1980, an NWBCCC delegation helped lead National People’s Action in disrupting a bankers’ convention in New Orleans. As a result, a “Proclamation of Cooperation” was won with three local banks and AETNA Insurance to complete 200 reinvestment projects and enforce the “Good Repair Clause” in their mortgages.
In 1978, AETNA Insurance made an agreement with National People’s Action, a national coalition we helped found, to launch an anti-insurance redlining program in six communities nationwide, including the Northwest Bronx.