The Fund for Public Housing (The Fund) and JP Morgan Chase announced today the launch of an innovative accelerator program to increase economic opportunities for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents.
Through training, mentoring, and technical assistance, these entrepreneurs will grow their construction businesses and obtain contracts with the country’s largest housing authority.
Supported by a $535,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase, The Fund and NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability (REES) will prepare 60 residents to launch their own construction businesses through intensive training and certification opportunities.
Participants will join a Construction Management Mentorship Program that provides formal mentorships, with technical assistance, to select graduates.
REES will then connect these graduates to construction building and maintenance projects at one of their more than 300 public housing developments.
“As NYCHA expands its capital investment, the JP Morgan Chase grant comes at a time of great opportunity for rebuilding individual lives and communities through workforce and community development,” said NYCHA Chairman & CEO, Greg Russ. “The program helps residents establish their own construction businesses with the opportunity to work for NYCHA. I’m grateful for this generous award from JP Morgan Chase and proud of NYCHA staff for developing and delivering high quality programs to our residents.”
“This is an exciting opportunity for NYCHA residents and the Fund, through the support of JP Morgan Chase,” said Fund for Public Housing Interim Executive Director and Board President, Paula Gavin. “The grant will spur entrepreneurship among NYCHA resident participants, providing a unique opportunity for personal and professional empowerment. The Fund greatly appreciates JP Morgan Chase’s confidence in our program’s ability to provide new and exciting possibilities for our residents.”
While there are many construction projects and contracting opportunities available, NYCHA found contractors and small business owners face significant challenges doing business with the housing agency.
Two focus groups were hosted with aspiring NYCHA resident business owners in 2020 and the group identified a variety of challenges they face including navigating cost estimation, bid documents, labor law requirements, and project scope.
REES recognized the need to provide residents with tailored resources, in order to create formal business structures and secure contracts.
“Every person deserves the opportunity to leverage their abilities to advance their economic lives, however, that opportunity is not equally available to everyone,” said Jeanique Druses, vice president, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “This investment in the Fund for Public Housing demonstrates JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to level the playing field and help NYCHA residents receive the assistance needed to launch and grow their businesses and more successfully access the contracts NYCHA issues, further unlocking the full potential of the housing agency to benefit its residents.”
The Fund for Public Housing supports NYCHA residents across the five boroughs of New York City with nearly 550,000 New Yorkers (1 in 15 people) served by the organization.
The public housing residents of NYCHA comprise the most diverse and economically disadvantaged population in New York City with an average income of $25,400.
The Fund for Public Housing (The Fund) is an independent not-for-profit organization that creates and leverages resources and relationships to enhance the opportunities and quality of life for New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents and their communities, while uplifting the importance of public housing to our city.
The Fund for Public Housing has launched a Strategic Plan for 2021-2025 which seeks to invest in leadership development, workforce skills, and community health, focusing on NYCHA’s 100,000 youth and young adults (14-24 years of age), as a centerpiece of the organization’s commitment to creating economic opportunity and equity for all NYCHA residents.
For more information, visit www.fundforpublichousing.org
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