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Homeless & Housing Agenda For May 4, 2021

(MSCC) Posted May 2, 2021

Date: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Time: 9:30 am-10:30 am

Location: We will meet via video Conference using ZOOM.US (See how to Zoom page. 3)



  • Housekeeping (Zoom protocols) Signing in, copying chat, muting, etc.
    • Ashley to record the actions and monitor the chat box
  • Introductions, welcoming new members, updates from Councilman’s Corey Johnson’s office
  • Please email subject and speaker suggestions by the 15th of each month
  • Items to Triage: In order to give time to pressing topics, please forward items at least 24 hours prior to meetings


The Homeless and Housing members, attendees, and speakers are here sharing knowledge, ideas, and resources to identify problems and find solutions to the homeless crisis.

Today’s meeting agenda is with emphasis on the challenges in finding suitable housing with rental subsidies and vouchers; we’ll hear from the New York City Commission on Human Rights as well as the DSS Fair Housing Litigation Unit about the work they do to help combat discriminatory practices and ways we can advocate for change. We have plenty of updates on adaptive reuse housing initiative and more.      

3 min


The prior 8:30 Homeless and Housing Policy meeting wrap-up as presented by selected participating members.

5 min 


  • Natalie Naculich, HCC, WSNA: Housing activism updates 
  • Daniel Pichinson, Charlene Kaloki, Ryan Chelsea Clinton updates
  • Richard Perkins, Housing Works
  • Mainchance, Sueranna Antoine and Khepera Youngblood, Development Coordinator, GCN/MainChance, 120 East 32nd Street, 212-883-0680 x108,,

5 min


Housing Committee’s Members (see Addendum A). Anyone wanting to be involved let us know via email or chat.

2 min


Ted Houghton, President of Gateway Housing

3 min


  • Adaptive Reuse: Medical Respite Bed facility
  • Working group to further discussions

2 min


Overview of The Commission on Human Rights & DSS Fair Housing Litigation Unit (SOI Unit)

  • Challenges in finding suitable housing with rental subsidies and vouchers (Section 8, CITY FHEPS, etc)
  • Discriminatory Practices
  • Process and Outcomes (Legal Support and Oversight)
  • Resources from  Commission on Human Rights, Juliet Critsimilios (see Addendum B)
  • District Attorney’s Office: Responsibility and advocation (Kevin Baptiste)
  • Other
  • In summary: How may we support and advocate for change and best establish a roadmap for other to follow

Perspectives from: Commission on Human Rights, Attorneys Juliet Critsimilios and Dustin Frankel; Director of the DSS’s Fair Housing Litigation Unit, Kevin Farley (see bios and resources Addendum B)

20 min


  • Overview: ready for distribution (see attached)
  • Rollout and monitoring
  • Volunteers needed



  • Allen Silverstein: How can we help give access to the mental ill and drug addicts to the services they need to keep them off of the street and prevent harm to themselves and others
  • About 30% of people who are unhoused are dealing with mental health issues, the majority of people and with the more serious issues are likely found with the street homeless population who are resistant to service
  • 50% of the jail population are mentally ill
  • The above being the case, how do we get the street residents the service they need
  • Jen suggested we should work on the mental health and drug use
  • Other

8 min


  • Jennifer suggested a planning committee with mount Sinai about their unused wings
  • Summary of today’s actions

2 min


3 min


  • Topic Suggests:
    • Public bathrooms (Portable bathroom for Hotels plazas)
  • Speaker Suggestions: All suggestions are welcomed
  • New Members: Thank you for joining, feel free to tell us about your needs or schedule a presentation, and connect with anyone within this network
  • Next Meeting: 9:30 am, Tuesday, June 1, 2021 (The first Tuesday of every month) 

2 min


  • Download the basic FREE app and become familiar with Zoom:, create a FREE account.


HOUSING COMMITTEE Anyone wanting to be involved let us know via email or chat box.

The following people agreed to be on the Housing Action Committee to pursue initiatives.

  • Andrew Kunkes, Mayor’s Office
  • Joycelyn Taylor, NYC Minority Women Business Enterprises
  • Ted Houghton, President of Gateway Housing
  • Marcel Negret, Senior Planner, Regional Plan Association (RPA)
  • Everett Perry, Independent Local Housing Developer
  • Brendan Cheney is the Director of Policy and Communications at the New York Housing Conference
  • Aurelija Jara, Architectural and Project Manager, perspectives.
  • Gustavo Jara, Construction manager
  • Leslie Boghosian / Allen Oster, CB4
  • Deborah Pollock from Dwelling Place
  • John Mudd / Sharon Jasprizza / Lenise Dazzel-Harris, MSCC

Elise Levy is the Organizer at  Housing Conservation Coordinators in New York City. Elise’s advocacy for tenants and associations ensures tenants have a voice.

Aurelija Jara, R.A., AIA, Project Manager, is an experienced project architect with more than 10 years of experience in educational, institutional and interior architecture. She has led design initiatives across a broad range of project type including K-12 school renovations, private residential design, museums, and urban design. Ms. Jara is a LEED-accredited professional. Her strong focus on resilient design stems from thorough knowledge of NYC’s current changes in zoning and building standards for resiliency. She understands FEMA regulations, resilient design techniques and methodology. 

Brendan Cheney is the Director of Policy and Communications at the New York Housing Conference. Previously, Brendan has worked on affordable housing and homelessness budgeting and policy at Gateway Housing, Politico New York, New York City Council, and the NYC Independent Budget Office.

Britt Melewski is the Assistant Director of Programs at Breaking Ground – Street to Home Manhattan.  He received his MSW in 2019 from Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work as well as his license in the same year.  He’s been working in Social Services in New York City since 2012.

Daniel Pichinson, MBA, has been the Executive Director for the Ryan Chelsea-Clinton for three years and has over twenty-five years experience in the delivery of community-based health services.  Dan first became involved in community health in volunteering in a syringe exchange program on the Lower East Side in the late 1980s.

Everett Perry is a New York City contractor developing and building affordable housing for the last 10 years. Everett has a fast growing company and is passionate about improving quality of life for New Yorkers.

Gustavo Jara, has over 25 years of experience in the construction industry working for major construction management firms in the New York City area as well as working as the principal of a General Construction and Management firm. His involvement in the construction industry has been multifaceted involving work as an Architect, Cost Estimator and Project Manager.

Joycelyn M. Taylor is also the Founder and Chair of the New York City  MWBE (Minority Women Business Enterprises) Alliance, whose mission is to assist minority and women-owned firms in  overcoming challenges related to obtaining access to opportunities on the federal, state and city levels. 

Marc Greenberg, Executive Director, Interfaith Assembly on Homelessness & Housing, President, Interfaith Affordable Housing Collaborative. A social entrepreneur focusing specifically on poverty and homelessness but more broadly working for housing justice and a more equitable New york City and beyond by helping to facilitate collaboration between a broad network of stakeholders including faith leaders, those who have experienced homelessness, Housing and service providers, advocates and elected officials. 

Marcel Negret is a Senior Planner at the Regional Plan Association (RPA). He leverages design thinking and data analysis to inform long term planning and urban policy. Marcel conducts research on land use and housing at the nexus of physical infrastructure, in particular public transit – generally referred to as transit-oriented development (TOD).

Natalie Naculich is the Tenant Organizer at Housing Conservation Coordinators in New York City. Natalie is passionate about social justice and community organizing. I have experience in direct service, communications, and advocacy work in both non-profit and legal environments.   

Nicholas Urban is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and the Director of Breaking Ground’s Street to Home Manhattan homeless outreach program.  He has worked in homeless services, community mental health treatment, and substance use research for the past decade.  In addition to his work with Breaking Ground, Nick is an Adjunct Professor at the Fordham Graduate School of Social Service and is a psychotherapist specializing in Dialectical Behavior Therapy.

Ted Houghton, President

Ted is the President of Gateway Housing. Prior to Gateway, Ted served as Executive Deputy Commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), overseeing the State’s housing and community renewal agencies, including the NYS Housing Finance Agency, Housing Trust Fund Corporation, Affordable Housing Corporation, Division of Housing and Community Renewal, and the State of New York Mortgage Agency.

Daniel Bernstein is a housing rights activist on the Upper West Side. He is currently a Tenants’ Rights Hotline counselor for the Metropolitan Council on Housing, and was previously founder and president of the Broadside Tenants Association. 

Boris Santos is a former elementary school teacher and legislative staffer at the NYC Council and NYS Senate. He currently resides in Cypress Hills and is a member of the East New York Community Land Trust Steering Committee.


When advocating for housing rights with a focus on community, the below items are considered:

  • Shelters: Truly transitional; although purposeful, achieving our housing and community goals will eliminate or lessen the need
  • Medical Respite Beds: Health care unit for longer stay and transitioning to housing (see Addendum B: Medical Respite Bed Advocacy Plan)
  • SROs: Single Room Occupancy
  • Supportive: Accessorized with social services
  • Housing First: Unconditional placement
  • Really Affordable: Rentals below the medium wage of 55,000 and or below 30% of income (input)
  • Affordable: The market rate rentals currently available to people above the medium wage up to 88,000 with a 30% of income ask or higher (see Addendum x)
  • Option and Incentives for Home Owner


Kevin Farley is the current Director of the DSS’s Fair Housing Litigation Unit.  The Fair Housing Litigation intervenes on behalf individuals experiencing voucher discrimination to secure housing opportunities, performs community outreach educating New Yorkers about voucher discrimination, and files cases in New York Supreme Court based on a pattern or practice of housing discrimination. 

Kevin Farley will be discuss the Source of Income Discrimination unit on May 4, 2021

Frankel, Dustin (CCHR) and Critsimilios, Juliet (CCHR) will be our special guests May 4, 2021

The NYC Commission on Human Rights (CCHR) and the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) are charged with protecting and providing fair housing in the City of New York.

CCHR’s Source of Income Discrimination page: 

CCHR’s SOI fact sheet (available on the website in other languages besides English as well):

CCHR’s SOI FAQs for Tenant’s: 

CCHR’s Fair Housing campaign:




Ryan Chelsea-Clinton is a community based health center located at 645 Tenth Avenue (45th and 46th Street).  We provide primary and specialty medical care to adults and children.  We also have on-site dentistry, social work, optometry, HIV testing and treatment, benefit acquisition, behavioral health and care coordination.  We also have a dedicated RN Manager and Social Worker-CASAC for our Medication Assisted Treatment as well as other addiction screening and assessment services.  Ryan also has a large mobile health unit which has two full service exam rooms.

As a federally-qualified health center, we do not turn any community member away due to their ability or inability to pay and we will assist them in obtaining Medicaid if appropriate.  We also have a partnership with an independent pharmacy across the street from us and have a very generous sliding fee scale for medications to ensure our patients can take those that are prescribed by their providers.


Josiah Haken, from New York City Relief, is looking for a storefront office space in midtown, to provide case management and care coordination. Able to pay round 4-5k per month, or $48-60k per year up front with the right deal (in the next two months). Small space for at least 2 offices with windows, to see clients in person and have them meet virtually with doctors or psychiatrists as well as receive assistance with 2010E packages and HRA benefits. It would not be a space where lots of people are served at once. 


Trinity Church Wall Street’s new Compassion Market will be open at St. Paul’s Chapel on Wednesdays from 12-3pm starting September 30. Guests in need will be able to get 15 healthy, pre-packaged, and shelf-stable meals, enough for five days, as well as personal hygiene kits by making an appointment on the Plentiful App anytime, or by calling our resource phone number, 917-594-6300. Walk-ins will also be accepted on a first come, first served basis.

The Compassion Market.  It is temporarily being run on Mondays from 1 – 3:30 pm out of Community First Pantry in Chinatown (384 Grand Street).  The goal is to return it to St. Paul’s Chapel some time in April.