Religious institutions are a bedrock of neighborhood life and identity, and serve as a social and cultural resource for thousands of New Yorkers. When religious congregations are faced with real estate challenges and must move or close, the impacts on the surrounding community can be significant. Since 2014, my office has worked to assist them in meeting their challenges – which have been particularly serious in Central and East Harlem, Washington Heights, and the Lower East Side.
So this fall I have formed a Religious Facilities Task Force (RFTF), inviting scores of stakeholders to meet and discuss strategies around these issues. These meetings aim to establish working connections between representative stakeholders from Manhattan congregations, non-profit developers, preservation groups, and government agencies. Together, we will explore how buildings that are consecrated and designed for religious purposes can be repurposed, shared, preserved, or redeveloped for affordable housing or non-profit use.
Two public hearings are scheduled to collect written and verbal testimony from the community. These hearings will take place at 1 Centre Street, 19th Floor South.
- Public Hearing #1: Monday, November 25, 2019 (6:00-8:00 pm)
- Public Hearing #2: Tuesday, January 14, 2020 (6:00-8:00 pm)
The general public may send comments and questions to the Religious Facilities Task Force at RFTF@manhattanbp.nyc.gov .
RFTF Meeting Minutes