Tuesday, February 23, 2010

While New York ACORN has supplied public support for Atlantic Yards, the Housing MOU points to national ACORN

I wrote yesterday that New York ACORN, Forest City Ratner's key partner in the Atlantic Yards Community Benefits Agreement, has been renamed New York Communities for Change.

But is FCR's formal partner the New York organization, no longer extant, or national ACORN?

The point person for the agreement was always Bertha Lewis of New York ACORN, as noted in this city press release. Also, New York ACORN (most recently located at 2-4 Nevins Street in Brooklyn) certainly has supplied people to rally for the the project.

But the Affordable Housing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed in May 2005 simply by ACORN, as was the Community Benefits Agreement.

Location questions

That MOU was signed by an ACORN office located at 88 3rd Avenue in Brooklyn, which most recently has been an address of national ACORN, while the New York office was most recently located at 2-4 Nevins Street in Brooklyn, as is the successor organization.

Then again, it's easy to confuse them. In the excerpt at right from the city's lobbying database, New York ACORN is identified as having an office at both locations, in successive years, with the same phone number.

Before 2008, it seems, New York ACORN was in fact located at 88 Third Avenue. So, whether the state or national organization signed the Housing MOU, they weren't very far from each other.

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