Newsworthy Articles

News and Media Update June 17, 2024

New Development Projects 

The Hanson Place Community Plaza, a 13-story affordable housing complex at 142 South Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, has been completed. Designed by OCV Architects and developed by Hanson Place Church Support Corporation and MDG Design & Construction, the $65.7 million project includes 104 affordable apartments for low- to moderate-income households. It also offers 22,000 square feet of community space, 8,000 square feet for health programming, and 900 square feet for the Hanson Place Church Support Corporation ministries.

Photograph of Hanson Place Community Plaza, via Linda Pedroso Photography

On June 11, 2024, officials celebrated the opening of Casa Celina, a new 16-story affordable housing building for seniors on NYCHA’s Justice Sonia Sotomayor campus in the Bronx. Casa Celina features 204 apartments, including 46 one-bedrooms and 158 studios, with 62 units reserved for formerly homeless seniors and 142 units for seniors earning 50 percent area median income or lower. JASA will manage the property and provide supportive services. The building includes community spaces, a fitness room, a landscaped roof terrace, and a library donated by Justice Sotomayor.

In July, St. John’s Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin, will be transformed into a 10-story, 130-unit apartment building with affordable pricing for 40 years.

Racial and Gender Equity

The newly formed Episcopal Coalition for Racial Equity and Justice held its first meetings and is preparing to present an informational session at the 81st General Convention in Louisville, Kentucky, on June 25, 2024. This coalition, created to support and coordinate racial equity efforts within The Episcopal Church, was incorporated in April 2024 by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and House of Deputies President Julia Ayala Harris. The coalition’s mission is to facilitate and support initiatives for racial equity and the dismantling of white supremacy within the church. 

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) rejected a constitutional ban on women pastors, a victory for those advocating for local church autonomy and more acceptance of women's roles in ministry. 

Heather Deal, left, and Nikki Hardeman, with the Baptist Women in Ministry, protest for the right for women to be in clergy, while standing outside the Southern Baptist Convention, Tuesday June, 11, 2024. Photo: Kelly Wilkinson/IndyStar 

The Migrant Crisis 

New York City is launching a $22 million resettlement program to help up to 539 migrants currently in city-funded hotel shelters in Buffalo find apartments, jobs, and apply for asylum. This program, managed by a local nonprofit, aims to replace the shelters run by DocGo. The initiative is part of a broader effort to create more sustainable solutions for managing the migrant influx.

Congolese boys participating in a trauma therapy program for refugee youth, hosted by the Jewish Family Services of Western New York. Photo from

The New York City Council is also considering measures to help migrants enter the workforce and streamline the shelter application process for homeless families with children. The Council’s Committee on Immigration and Committee on Small Business will discuss a bill to improve the application process for NYC IDs, which are crucial for migrants seeking employment. The bill proposes same-day, in-person application appointments, an appeals system for denied applicants, and yearly training for IDNYC workers.

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