Peter L. Bray named executive director of Brooklyn Heights Association
Peter L. Bray has been named the new executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) and will assume the role effective Sept. 1, 2015. The Board of Governors of the BHA announced the news, adding that Bray comes to the BHA with extensive experience and recognition in the community development field and a successful track record advocating on behalf of communities throughout New York City.
As a member of the Park Slope Civic Council, Bray has led the multiyear effort to expand the Park Slope Historic District, for which approval of a second extension is anticipated in 2016, undertaking an extraordinary effort of planning, coalition-building and relentless advocacy that he will bring to his BHA role.
Until recently, Bray has served as the executive director of the New York City Financial Network Action Consortium, which he founded to foster the growth of the city’s leading community development credit unions, expand access by residents of low-income communities to affordable financial services and responsible credit, and support economic development in disadvantaged communities.
This task followed upon extensive work in affordable housing earlier in his career as director of Housing and Economic Development Programs at the Mount Hope Housing Company in the South Bronx, overseeing the rehabilitation of abandoned or deteriorated multifamily buildings for hundreds of lower income families and those transitioning from homelessness and developing community facilities providing primary health care, social services and workforce training services. Before that, he was director of Small Homes Development for the South Bronx Development Organization, implementing the development of homeownership housing in the Charlotte Street area to transform a national symbol of urban devastation into one of hope and rebirth.
Bray is currently spearheading efforts on behalf of a coalition of Brooklyn brownstone neighborhoods to modify a citywide rezoning proposal that threatens to undo years of efforts by civic organizations to preserve the livable and historic nature of communities in Brooklyn and throughout the city. With his expertise in both affordable housing and preservation, Bray and the coalition, of which the BHA is a member, have already achieved success in compelling the Department of City Planning to reduce height allowances in its proposed plan. Much more work remains to be done, and Bray will continue his important role when he is the BHA Executive Director.
Bray has served on several nonprofit boards and is a current trustee of the Park Slope Civic Council, where he has been actively engaged in strengthening the governance of the organization and its financial structure, as well as in his many advocacy efforts. His professional work has been recognized by the Union Square Awards for innovative grassroots leadership and by the Park Slope Civic Council with a Volunteer of the Year award. Bray’s affection for Brooklyn and its historic neighborhoods reflects the fact that six generations of his family have called Brooklyn home and have benefitted from the economic opportunity it has provided to those who came to the city as immigrants.
Bray’s extensive experience will be instrumental in leading the BHA in the years to come as it continues its mission to preserve the physical fabric of the Brooklyn Heights community, improve the quality of life of all the community’s residents, inform and help residents and businesses with matters of concern to them and vigorously advocate on behalf of the community.
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