Building MORE Homes, Community Services for East Harlem!
Ascendant is adding 550 new affordable homes to Northern Manhattan
Numbers aren’t everything, but they are important.As our nation grapples with the impact of the COVID pandemic, numbers matter. 700,000*lives lostto COVID.1 in 4renters** in New Yorkare behind on their rent. Over 1 in 3** children in renter households are food and housing insecure. The US is currently short 3.8 million† affordable homes.
Those of us dedicated to adding deeply affordable homes to our communities often feel like we're traversing an insurmountable peak. But every affordable apartment added is a life-changing opportunity for a family in crisis.
This year we added 550 deeply affordable apartments to our project pipeline, which will almost double the number of Ascendant residences in our portfolio. With these new homes come much needed social services, community spaces, and neighborhood programming that will forward our mission of building resources and opportunity for our incredible community members who call Northern Manhattan home.
Landmark East Harlem recently released a bilingual community survey to solicit public input regarding historic and cultural resources in El Barrio/East Harlem. This input will help inform a grant-funded survey to identify sites and buildings of community importance in the area. The survey is being directed by a professional historic preservationist working for AND. The study is expected to be published and shared with the public in early 2022. We conducted our first outreach for the survey during a recent Open Streets event, where we received over 90 completed surveys.
Check out Landmark East Harlem's newest virtual tours and latest landmark spotlights - click the images below.
AND's Public Art Initiative
AND’s Public Art Initiative seeks to bring together artists, youth, and East Harlem residents through collaborative art-making, neighborhood beautification, and community activism. We do this by incorporating publicly accessible art on AND’s current properties and future developments.
We are thrilled about our Thrive Collective mural!
Creative energies are currently happening around our Ascendant Heritage buildings at 441, 447, and 449 East 116th Street! This #ArtatAscendant mural project is just the beginning of our partnership with Harlem's Thrive Collective, a student-centered, collaborative placemaking, arts organization that pairs working artists with local students to create community murals for schools, civic institutions, churches, commercial and residential spaces. We will continue partnering with Thrive Collective to splash some community color and culture on more Ascendant buildings!
This year, AND partnered with Groundswell, a nonprofit that brings together artists, youth, and community organizations to use art as a tool for social change, to create a mural to be installed on the fence of 244 E 106th Street, the site of our ShareNYC development. In August, AND and Dakotah West, the mural artist, held a community visioning session and paint day with several clients of Ali Forney Center (AFC). AFC is the largest community center helping LGBTQIA+ homeless youths in the United States and our development partner for ShareNYC. Dakotah led the youths through a collective brainstorm of themes, messages, colors, text, and titles for the mural.
The mural is called Transition Goals. It is based on the clients' messages for the next generation of queer youth. The visual vocabulary, color palette, text, and title came directly from the youths.
Installation of the mural was completed on October 28th. AND is planning a celebratory opening event in early November.
AND is a member of theThriving Communities Coalition and supports the principles and demands that they have made for comprehensive planning. Comprehensive planning is an important vehicle to further the Coalition’s goals and to achieve more equity in land use. The City needs a fair distribution of resources, transparency and accountability in planning, and development without displacement. Comprehensive planning is a step towards creating a tangible framework for equitable planning.
On February 23rd, New York City Council conducted a hearing on a bill (Int 2186-2020) that would amend the New York City charter to require a comprehensive long-term plan. Check out our full written testimony for the NYC Council Hearing on the Comp Plan here.
Join the Ascendant Board of Directors!
AND seeks nominations of qualified Board member candidates. AND will maintain an active list of candidates for ongoing consideration.
Prospective candidates should demonstrate a willingness to commit time and personal resources; to serve on Board committees; to represent the organization at community functions; and to support the organization’s mission and values.
Interested parties should submit their resume and a statement of interest to Chris Cirillo, Executive Director/President, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and applicants will be contacted when a Board vacancy exists. We look forward to hearing from you.
Lastly, we just want to say thanks again for your continued support of Ascendant Neighborhood Development. We can't believe the year is already wrapping up. Though we are still in a pandemic and unable to safely celebrate the resiliency of our community & this year's exciting new development projects in person, we look forward to inviting you to our Spring Gala next year. (More on that soon!)