BROOKLYN, NY, March 28, 2019: Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. encouraged small non-profits across the city to apply for the Extended Use Hardship Waiver Pilot Program, an effort to provide community organizations with greater access to school facilities that has been organized in partnership with the New York City Department of Education (DOE) and their colleagues Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo. Launched last month, this $2 million initiative to ensure greater space use access for small, not-for-profit, community-based organizations (CBOs) that provide services to young people was created after years of advocacy in Brooklyn from Borough President Adams, highlighted by a youth sports walk over the Brooklyn Bridge in October 2015. Borough President Adams and his colleagues spoke about the importance of getting the word out about this limited pilot program, which permits applications for events up until Sunday, June 30th.
“This program is a creative way to utilize existing public space for the good of the community,” said Borough President Diaz. “The groups who could potentially benefit from this pilot enrich local offerings for our constituents and this is a great idea to help them out for a relatively low cost. Thank you to Chancellor Carranza and my fellow borough presidents for their support of this initiative.”
“Public school buildings are community assets that must be maximized for full community benefit, especially for developing the full personhood of our young people,” said Borough President Adams. “Many useful spaces lie dormant before and after school hours, as well as on the weekends. Extended use permit fees should not be a barrier to entry for those serving the underserved. The Extended Use Hardship Waiver Pilot Program empowers small non-profits and CBOs that offer youth cultural, sports, or enrichment programming with critical resources, without having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to create new community facilities. This is a good bang-for-your-buck investment, and I thank Mayor de Blasio, Chancellor Carranza, and my fellow borough presidents for their partnership in advancing this initiative.”
“The Extended Use Hardship Waiver Pilot Program has the potential to help schools support communities by encouraging small CBOs to take advantage of school space without fear of the permit cost,” said Borough President Brewer. “Now we need to do the hard work of both reaching out to organizations that may not have known school spaces were available to them and ensuring that there is a fair and open process for determining who gets waivers.”
“The DOE is committed to empowering and partnering with our communities, and we’re excited about this new opportunity for community-based organizations to use public school space,” said NYC Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “These organizations and their programs serve our 1.1 million students, their families, and members of their communities. We thank Borough President Adams and all the borough presidents for their leadership and partnership as we launch this new pilot program.”
“We are exceedingly grateful to Borough President Adams, his staff, and the DOE for their unwavering commitment and support of youth and the marching arts in Brooklyn,” said Antonio Thompson, executive director of BKSteppers Marching Arts. “Through the Extended Use Hardship Waiver Pilot Program, the BKSteppers were able to secure a dedicated and affordable space to provide music instruction to youth on the weekends. Without this program, finding dedicated space would’ve been a tremendous financial burden and limited the number of students able to be served by our organization.”
Extended Use Hardship Waiver Pilot Program applications are now being accepted through the offices of the five borough presidents for consideration. Pilot funds are subject to availability. To be eligible, CBOs must be not-for-profit, in compliance with Chancellor’s Regulation D-180, and able to demonstrate financial hardship. To apply for a waiver, CBOs must obtain an extended use permit from the school they are interested in using, receive an email notification requesting payment for their approved permit from the DOE, and then obtain and complete the Extended Use Hardship Waiver Request Form that corresponds with their borough. More information on the program, including downloadable request forms, is available online at infohub.nyced.org/resources/school-programs/extended-use-hardship-waiver-program.