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What’s News Breaking: Tuesday, July 27, 2021

July 27, 2021 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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CAN’T RE-ENTER THER HOMES: A group of tenants displaced by fire will protest this morning in front of National Grid’s 1 MetroTech Center offices, to demand that the multinational gas and electric utility sign off on renovations that were completed in May. The tenants of 529 56th St. in Sunset Park claim that National Grid’s failure to complete the sign-off is preventing them from returning home 3 ½ years since a fire displaced them.  The tenants claim they also face an August 1 deadline, after which their current temporary housing will no longer be available.

Joining the tenants at the rally, being held in front of One MetroTech Center will be elected officials and attorneys, and other supporters.

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FUNDING TO VACCINATE VULUNERABLE COMMUNITIES: Governor Andrew Cuomo has allocated $15 million from the New York State budget to promote vaccination in communities across the state that were hardest-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds, being utilized to strengthen communication, expand public education and enhance ongoing outreach efforts throughout diverse communities, will be allocated to the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, to the Hispanic Federation, the New York Immigration Coalition Asian American Federation, Charles B. Wang Community Center and APICHA Community Health Center.

The Governor also announced a new ad urging New Yorkers across the state to get vaccinated, saying “New York is pulling out all the stops to get shots in arms, and this budget funding will help us target outreach efforts in the state’s most vulnerable communities to make sure that everyone is able to get vaccinated.”

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NEW SUPPORTIVE HOUSING: Breaking Ground, New York’s largest supportive housing developer, and African American Planning Commission Inc. (AAPCI) will celebrate the Tuesday, July 27 opening of Edwin’s Place with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, Edwin’s Place is an eight-story, 115,500-square foot building with 3,000-square feet of retail space along Livonia Avenue, and brings 125 units of affordable and supportive housing for formerly homeless and low-income New Yorkers to the Brownsville neighborhood, in addition to new community space and retail. 

Each Edwin’s Place tenant is receiving an original work of art from a single renowned artist who donated 125 pieces for formerly homeless residents moving into their new home.

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STREAMLINING RENT RELIEF PROGRAM: A new streamlined application process for New York’s rent relief program is expected to help renters and to eliminate potential barriers for eligible New Yorkers to receive funding. The new process, effective today, July 27, immediately relaxes documentation standards for both tenants and landlords and implements a streamlined process for submission of arrears documentation for multi-tenant landlords. The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance administers this program that assists households behind on their rent and that have experienced financial hardship, that are at risk of homelessness or housing instability and that earn at or below 80 percent of area median income.

ERAP also provides significant tenant protections. In order to receive assistance, the landlord must agree to waive any late fees due on past-due rent; and not increase the tenant’s monthly rent or evict them for one year, except in limited circumstances.

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REVEL’S DRIVERS WILL BE EMPLOYEES, NOT FREELANCE: Brooklyn-born electric mobility company Revel will launch its all-electric, all-employee rideshare service on Monday, August 2, in New York City, concluding a process that Revel began in March. Revel is launching with 50 New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) licensed custom Teslas that the company will own and maintain, and with drivers brought on as employees rather than independent contractors. The company’s first Superhub opened on June 29th in Bedford-Stuyvesant, with 25 Level 3 fast chargers, making it the largest universal fast-charging depot in the Americas.

Due to overwhelming demand, Revel’s rideshare service will continue to have a waitlist.  New Yorkers who want to sign up can do so in-app and learn more at gorevel.com.

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NEW BIKE BOULEVARD AND LANES: Brooklyn Community Board 7, serving Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace, will convene via Zoom next Tuesday, August 3 to discuss a proposed bike boulevard and conversion of a street to two-way bike lanes. The 6 p.m. Zoom call will include a presentation by the DOT on the proposed bike boulevard on 20th-21st streets from 3rd to 7th avenues; and a proposal to convert 20th St. to a one-way for vehicles with a 2-way bike lane. 

Interested attendees within the Community Board can register in advance for this webinar via https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_c9kR9bIuRDSnhkcqr9PNSw

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GRANTS FOR WOMEN IN ENTERTAINMENT: Woman are front-and-center in a $5.5 million grant program to be awarded to creative projects by, for, or about women, with applications now open for the third round of finishing grants, as part of The NYC Women’s Fund for Media, Music and Theatre.  Qualified applicants can apply for these finishing grants, offered through the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), with a November 1 deadline, at www.nyfa.org/nycwomensfund. The NYC Women’s Fund is a signature initiative launched to address the underrepresentation of all who identify as women in the entertainment industries.

Recent successes for program participants demonstrate the appetite for entertainment projects with a strong female voice. Film projects from the 2020 Women’s Fund grant recipients were collectively screened at 30 national and international film festivals, with grant recipients have been acquired by The New Yorker, Brooklyn’s BRIC TV and international distribution platforms.

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BLENDING SPORTS, SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Two Brooklyn-based STEM organizations are being awarded a total of $7,500 STEM Action Grants from the Society for Science. Learn Fresh, now receiving its third STEM Action grant, will get $2,500 to support the implementation of a new program that leverages the game of soccer and student passion for sports to draw them into standards-aligned STEM and social-emotional learning.  Tech Kids Unlimited will receive $5,000 to continue empowering neurodiverse students to learn and expand their skills in technology and computer science in a supportive and individualized environment.

The funds will support The TKU Digital Agency, which provides paid internships and work-based learning for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder in an effort to close the opportunity gap and combat their chronic underemployment.


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