Newsworthy Articles

News and Media Update December 12, 2022

Collaboration and resource sharing is a major part of “building our way out of the housing crisis” and Bricks and Mortals is committed to doing just that. Wednesday on December 7th, we held a Summit with Mayor Adams, Pastor Gil Monrose and the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships, and the Mayor's Working Group on Faith-Based Affordable Housing & Community Development, which was Chaired by Bricks and Mortals’ Executive Director, Kate Toth. 

The Faith-Based Affordable Housing Summit discussed the Action Plan developed by the Working Group. The summit consisted of panels and built momentum for utilizing faith-properties and supporting faith communities, so they can continue to support their communities. Thank you to all of the panelists, attendees, working group members, everyone working behind the scenes, and Trinity Church Wall Street for hosting.

Faith leaders pose with the Mayor at the Affordable Housing Summit. Photo via 

Collectively, we mourned in October when we lost legendary faith-leader, Rev Dr. Calvin Butts of Abyssinia Baptist Church. Paying homage to Rev. Butts, City and State has published a list of 100 faith based leaders who represent the remarkable diversity of faiths and systems of belief in New York. 

The Faith Power 100 list includes many Bricks and Mortals partners:

  • Bricks and Mortals Board members Rabbi Joseph Potasnik (Executive Vice President, The New York Board of Rabbis), Debbie Almontaser (Founder and CEO, Bridging Cultures Group Inc.);
  • Former B&M Board Member, Pastor Gilford Monrose (Executive Director, New York City Mayor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships);
  • Former Board Member and continued partner Rev. Peter Cook (Executive Director, New York State Council of Churches);
  • Jennifer Jones Austin (CEO and Executive Director, FPWA) and Pastor Fernando Cabrera (Lead Pastor, New Life Outreach International), panelists at the Faith-Based Affordable Housing Summit on December 7th; 
  • Rev. Terry Troia (President and CEO, Project Hospitality) on the Action Plan developed by the Working Group; and,
  • Rev. Adriene Thorne (Senior Minister, The Riverside Church), a member of the Sustainable Solutions for Sacred Sites program and a member of B&M.

We’re so grateful to see members of the Bricks and Mortals community acknowledged for the excellent work they do! Congratulations to everyone on the list

The Faith Power 100 only covers the tip of the iceberg regarding leadership, advocacy and community development coming out of faith based organizations in New York City. Recently,  The Christian Culture Center (CCC), the largest house of worship in New York City, with 37,000 active members, received full City Council approval for an Innovative Urban Village in East New York. The CCC’s vision for this Urban Village is to establish a sustainable, diverse neighborhood, with income-based affordable housing, purpose-built community services and robust economic opportunities for the new and future residents of East New York. 

Rendering of Innovative Urban Village. Photo via

On the West Coast, The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego is hosting The Good News Festival, a faith based festival with workshops like Land Acknowledgement and the Church, Affordable Housing and Faith Communities, Food Security and Faith Communities. This festival is timely considering a new bill was just passed in California permitting churches, nonprofit colleges to build homes on their land. In response to the nationwide housing crisis, we can expect to see more faith-based organizations involved with development and real estate as a way of creating income and expanding their mission work

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