Photo Courtesy of the Attorney General’s Office
Schneiderman started Cities RISE earlier this year.
By Forum Staff
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday announced that New York City is among the winners of the first phase of the Cities for Responsible Investment and Strategic Enforcement grant awards, an investment which will total more than $10 million over the next two years to 18 cities and towns across the state.
Cities RISE, according to Schneiderman, aims to address and transform blighted, vacant, or poorly maintained problem properties through the use of housing and community data from various state agencies.
“Too many New Yorkers are still struggling in the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis. That’s why my office is investing the dollars we secured from the banks, to provide the tools necessary to rebuild and strengthen our neighborhoods,” Schneiderman said. “Cities RISE presents a 21st Century approach to overcoming this crisis and revitalizing New York’s communities.”
According to Schneiderman’s Office, the 18 grantees—selected by national community development nonprofits Enterprise Community Partners and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation which are managing the program—will receive a two-year subscription to a data platform designed to integrate and analyze data such as code enforcement records, tax liens, and fire and police data. Cites RISE partnered with Tolemi (formerly known as OpportunitySpace), a social enterprise that created BuildingBlocks, a platform designed to integrate housing and code enforcement-related data, and was selected for this program following significant research and consultation with numerous industry experts.
Launched in April of this year, Cities RISE advances Schneiderman’s strategy for helping New York families and communities rebuild from the housing crisis. Since taking office, Schneiderman noted that his Office has obtained settlements with large financial institutions to address misconduct that contributed to the collapse of the housing market—bringing more than $95 billion to communities across the country and over $5.5 billion to the state alone. With those funds, the Office has established several consumer programs, from the Homeowners Protection Program to the Land Bank Community Revitalization Initiative, all with the goal of helping New Yorkers become homeowners, avoid foreclosure, and improve blight in their communities.