Celebrating AAFE’s Affordable Housing Project Completion

Sara Roosevelt Community Coalition’s long -time founding organization’s – Asian Americans for Equality cut the ribbon for 656 East 12th St., Manhattan (at Avenue C)


Thomas Yu, AAFE ED, with NYC Council Member Rivera and HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. at the ribbon cutting.


Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), project partners and elected officials will join with East Village families realizing the dream of homeownership, as they settle into their newly renovated apartments.

AAFE recently completed the transformation of three century-old tenement buildings under the City’s Affordable Neighborhood Cooperative Program (ANCP). The gut renovations have created 44 beautiful homes in the formerly dilapidated tenements. The project will result in the conversion of the buildings from rental to co-op apartments owned and managed by residents.

More than 20 families, longtime building residents, will be welcomed home. A housing lottery will be launched in the coming weeks, offering an additional 21 homeownership opportunities in these buildings for middle-income individuals and families.


(AAFE) advances racial, social and economic justice for Asian Americans and other systematically disadvantaged communities.

Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) is a comprehensive community development organization which preserves and builds affordable housing, provides an array of community services and supports immigrant small businesses through low-interest loans and training. In the past three decades, AAFE has created more than 1,200 units of affordable housing, the majority  located in Chinatown and on the Lower East Side.

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Celebrating FABnyc and Downtown Arts

Long-time and ongoing partners of Sara Roosevelt Park Community Coalition:

Congratulations to Downtown Arts and FABnyc and Ryan Gilliam, her hardworking staff by her side, whose persistence over many years paid off and will continue to serve the LES and beyond.

“Celebrating the completed transformation of 70 East 4th Street, the legacy of Downtown Art, and the home of FAB — a community arts center for the LES made possible through support from City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, former Councilmember Rosie Mendez, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, and long-time members of the Downtown Art/FAB community.”

Well done!!!

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FDR’s Speech at the Official Opening of Sara Roosevelt Park On Immigrants and the U.S.

Sara D Roosevelt Park opened in 1934.



President Franklin D Roosevelt gave this speech around 1936 from this building’s balcony:


Hester Parkhouse

His speech (audio recording here):

“There are some experiences in this life that give one new strength, a new purpose, to carry on. Today at the Statue of Liberty and now seeing this great gathering I obtain inspiration to go on with the task that is mine. And I am very happy for the first time because I have not driven through here for two or three years to see this park which was named after my dear mother. When that was done I can tell you very simply that I don’t believe I have ever seen her more happy in all her life.

I am just come from the ceremonies at the Statue of Liberty I spoke there of the steady stream of human resources which the old world poured on our shores and out of which our American civilization has been built. Many of the people who came past the statue of liberty settled in this section of New York City. Here they wove into the pattern of American life some of the color, some of the richness of the cultures from which they came. Here they joined in that great process out of which we have welded our American citizenship. We gave them freedom. I am proud, America is proud, of what they have given to us. They have never been, they are not now, half-hearted Americans. The great majority of the new and the old do not confuse the word liberty with the word license. They appreciate that the American standard of freedom does not include the right to do things to hurt our own neighbors. They, who have never been so free before, rejoice in our freedom. Our liberty is warmed by the fire of their devotion.”




Stanton Parkhouse

Broome Parkhouse

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