Chhaya builds the power, housing stability, and economic well-being of South Asian and Indo-Caribbean communities in New York City.
Mohammed Bashar reported major safety concerns in his apartment—a potential gas leak and a blocked fire exit. After Con Edison confirmed the leak, the city's department of Housing Preservation and Development issued 18 violations. Chhaya staff learned that the majority of tenants were Bangladeshi immigrants with limited English proficiency. To hold the landlord accountable, we organized actions with elected officials and the Bangladeshi Tenant Union. Tenants learned how to call 311 to report disrepair and how to file official complaints. Mr. Bashar now lives in a safe apartment and is an active tenant leader in his building association.
Sharif Anisuzzaman and his wife Farhana Akhter dreamed of purchasing a home. When they turned to Chhaya's Homeownership Program, they learned they didn't have the necessary credit history to qualify for a loan. Through Chhaya's Asset Building Program, they joined a Peer Lending Circle with 7 other people also looking to build or re-establish their credit. Each month, members contributed $100 with one member receiving a loan. As Sharif and Farhana made their payments, their credit scores improved. Inspired by this success, the couple have joined a new lending circle and continue to progress toward their dream of owning a home.
Enriqueta Galindo is a small business owner of a variety shop on Roosevelt Avenue, a bustling Jackson Heights commercial corridor. Chhaya's small business program helped her to successfully appeal a potentially devastating $2,900 fine from the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), by connecting her to an attorney from TakeRoot Justice and supporting her through the process.
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