ANHD launched our Equitable Economic Development (EqED) Initiative in 2015 because economic development is a crucial equity challenge, an important policy challenge, and an essential community development challenge. ANHD groups and our movement have, over the years, worked to create a powerful advocacy and policy toolbox for producing and preserving affordable housing. But no housing is affordable without a job, and ANHD groups recognized that we must create a similar toolbox for economic development. Equitable economic development goes beyond simply expanding the tax base and employment base, which is too often the exclusive focus of government policy. Instead, it is about the types of jobs created and the people being served – and ensuring that decent jobs are created for those who are left out. In addition to releasing the 2nd year of our annual How is Economic Opportunity Threatened in Your Neighborhood? Chart, our campaign work has both continued and started in new and exciting ways.
Industrial and Manufacturing
ANHD’s industrial advocacy, the longest running component of our EqED work, has advanced real and crucial policy proposals that lead to supporting good-paying jobs in the industrial and manufacturing sector. In 2015, we, along with the Pratt Center and fellow industrial advocates, joined the Council and Administration at their announcement of the Industrial Action Plan, a ten-point plan to modernize the City’s industrial policy. Over the past year, we meaningfully advanced the conversation around industrial issues by:
- Bringing on new staff to support non-profit developers who are interested in tapping into the City’s new Industrial Development Fund
- Engaging with community stakeholders and elected officials on new industrial area zoning tools
- Demanding the City initiate the overdue but necessary action of reforming use groups in manufacturing zones
For more info on our Industrial and Manufacturing campaigns and plans for next year, contact Armando Chapelliquen at Armando.C@anhd.org.
Small businesses are cornerstones of our city and neighborhoods. Small businesses provide jobs, culturally relevant goods and services, and community, keeping our neighborhoods thriving and vibrant places to live. The rising cost of rents leads to displacement that impacts both long-time small businesses across New York and burgeoning entrepreneurs. Recognizing the impact of gentrification on commercial as well as residential tenants, ANHD began our small business anti-displacement work in January of 2016. Since the formation of this table, we have collectively:
- Formed a citywide coalition of community groups and legal service providers, United for Small Business NYC (USBNYC) in April of this year
- Helped pass the City’s first commercial tenant anti-harassment legislation, signed into law in September, and provided know-your-rights trainings to small businesses across the City
- Supported Street Vendor Project, a coalition member, in advocating for lifting the caps for permits for street vendors, recognizing that street vendors are small businesses
For more info on our Small Business campaigns and plans for next year, contact Lena Afridi at Lena.A@anhd.org.
Bank Reinvestment and Responsible Banking
ANHD is committed to increasing the quantity and quality of bank reinvestment in NYC, primarily through the Community Reinvestment Act. We work with our member organizations, allies, regulators, and elected officials to accomplish this goal. Over the past year, we have advanced this agenda by:
- Producing an annual State of Bank Reinvestment in NYC Report that analyzes the local impact of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), highlights industry trends, and identifies and compares how individual banks do or don’t meet our City’s credit and banking needs
- Advocating for CRA commitments at the time of mergers and Acquisitions
- Regulators are required to take CRA performance and forward-looking plans into account when deciding whether or not to approve a merger or acquisition. ANHD believes that no merger should go through without a CRA plan. In 2016, ANHD and our members negotiated a strong CRA plan with NY Community Bank as part of their application to acquire Astoria Bank. The plan is multifaceted and includes commitments that will impact small businesses and jobs.
- Modernizing CRA through bank regulation
- ANHD has been working with regulators on regulation related to the CRA and banks. We have been very active in advocating for CRA modernization primarily through the regulatory process, including updates to the CRA Question & Answer (Q&A) publication that guides banks and examiners in determining which loans, investments, and services are eligible for CRA credit and how they impact their rating. The latest round of revisions to the Q&A’s placed a very strong emphasis on economic development.
For more info on our Bank Reinvestment and Responsible Banking campaigns and plans for next year, contact Jaime Weisberg at Jaime.W@anhd.org.