June 17, 2014

New York Change Capital Fund: New Initiative to support Community Development

Every day, thousands of low and moderate income families across New York wake up facing uncertainty: uncertainty about being able to send their children to quality schools; uncertainty about having a roof over their heads because of rising rents and interest rates on their home loans; uncertainty about earning a decent wage. Deutsche Bank provides a long-term change in New York City communities by launching new initiatives supported by New York City Change Capital Fund.

New York City has seen rising levels of income inequality and a shrinking middle class over the past two decades. About 20 percent of the New York City population ― 1,175,000 persons ― are living below the poverty line. Therefore, it is even more important to support the empowerment of local communities and to work in dialogue with citizens to shape change in their communities. Good community development is action that helps people to recognize and develop their ability and potential and organize themselves to respond to problems and needs which they share.

The New York City Change Capital Fund (CCF), a collaboration of 17 foundations and financial institutions is dedicated to actions that help distressed New York Communities to create, revitalize and preserving neighborhoods. Recently the launch of a new initiative was announced to harness the strength of community development corporations (CDCs) to reduce poverty in high-need New York City neighborhoods.

Helping communities to prosper

CCF is funding five New York CDCs to help them retool and refocus their strategies and business models to address persistent poverty more effectively. Each CDC will receive up to $1 million over four years and access to technical assistance as they implement new and refined approaches and improved outcome tracking systems that will equip the organizations to better demonstrate their results in a funding environment that pays for success. The selected CDCs previously participated in a planning process, also funded by CCF, in which they developed community-based, multi-disciplinary tactics to address systemic poverty and track measurable results.

Tackling social and economic challenges

Despite improvements to the physical conditions of many low-income neighborhoods and the reversal of the disinvestment experienced in the 1970s to 1990s, poverty and limited economic mobility remain obstacles to residents of very low-income communities. The poverty rates in the targeted neighborhoods range from 30% to over 40%, and residents struggle with unemployment, underperforming schools and higher crime rates than the rest of the city.

Meeting the individual needs through integrated programmes

The five CDCs will integrate programs that most often operate in silos to multiply their impact; for example, residents of affordable housing may increase their financial literacy and job skills while their children benefit from support for school success and college access. The groups will act as anchors to a constellation of local, government, and private partners that will restore opportunity and address the roots of poverty in New York’s distressed neighborhoods. “Community-based organizations coordinate a wide range of robust services to meet the diverse needs of every New York City neighborhood,” said Matthew Klein, Executive Director of the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity. “The Capital Change Fund’s work to support effective non-profits and promote data-driven strategies aligns with the goals of the de Blasio Administration and we are proud to be a partner.”

The donors selected these five groups to implement their business plans:

Community Solutions/Brownsville Partnership will orchestrate a 5,000 jobs campaign as the anchor for multifaceted services in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, which includes over 4,000 apartments in public housing plagued with extraordinarily high poverty and crime.

Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation will combine real estate development strategies that increase affordable housing and quality manufacturing jobs with a continuum of educational services that starts with school readiness and continues through college graduation for the residents of Cypress Hills and East New York.

Fifth Avenue Committee will work with Brooklyn Workforce Innovations, Red Hook Initiative, and the South Brooklyn Industrial Development Corporation to improve educational and workforce outcomes for public housing residents, particularly for the young adults (18+) of Red Hook and Gowanus.

New Settlement Apartments will focus its poverty-reducing efforts on priority populations in the South Bronx, ensuring greater continuity and intensity of program participation and improving the coordination and efficacy of housing, education, and employment services.

St. Nicks Alliance will launch NABE 3.0, a new initiative integrating evidenced based employment, education and affordable housing strategies in a targeted high poverty North Brooklyn district. NABE 3.0 will facilitate partnerships with government and nonprofits in a coordinated outcome driven effort to increase employment, improve educational outcomes and reduce homelessness.

About the New York City Change Capital Fund

Over a period of nearly 20 years the donor collaborative now called the NYC Change Capital Fund (CCF) invested $25 million in philanthropic dollars to strengthen the capacity of non-profit Community Development Corporations (CDCs). CDCs pioneered the revitalization of distressed communities throughout New York City by creating and preserving housing and repairing the fabric of neighborhoods across the city. The CCF recognizes the importance of strong neighborhoods to New York City, and particularly to the prospects of the city’s low-income residents.


“Many of the same nonprofits that rebuilt housing and commercials strips are best positioned to rebuild the social fabric of our most vulnerable communities. This means knitting together New York City Housing Authority developments with their surrounding communities and ensuring that every public agency that impacts a low income family is tasked with coordinating their efforts to achieve results that improve lives and increases opportunities.”

Gary Hattem President of the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation and Managing Director of the Community Development Finance Group

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