A Proud Year for the FHJC

Photo © by Bernard Kleina

December 21, 2023

2023 has been one of the FHJC’s most productive and impactful years.

Two achievements we take special pride in are the Robin Hood Heroes Award and a nearly $1M settlement in a groundbreaking voucher discrimination case.

Robin Hood is New York’s largest local poverty-fighting foundation. Last November, Robin Hood bestowed its first ever “Marian Wright Edelman Heroes Award” to the FHJC and Harlem-based artist and activist Nana Zakia. The FHJC aided her in her fight to obtain an apartment using her housing voucher.

Nana Zakia with FHJC staff and attorney Deborah H. Karpatkin

Nana Zakia with FHJC staff and attorney Deborah H. Karpatkin

At an awards ceremony attended by more than 500 guests from the business, philanthropic, and the public/nonprofit sectors, Ms. Zakia spoke powerfully about her journey, about the experience of becoming unhoused, and the heartbreak of being denied a home despite being financially qualified.

She praised the FHJC for our investigative work and even compared us to superheroes. She also encouraged everyone in the room to continue their hard work fighting discrimination. “When you give, you get back more than the dollars,” she reminded everyone. “You get back people like me who make New York City what it’s supposed to be.” Watch Ms. Zakia’s speech on YouTube HERE.

In October, FHJC received a precedent setting decision in a federal lawsuit against Goldfarb Properties, the owner of over 6,000 apartments. It took more than five years and a court decision, but the FHJC proved that Goldfarb engaged in source of income and disability discrimination by setting minimum income requirements for apartment applicants that were designed to reject housing voucher holders. Defendants were ordered to pay $990,940, cease their discriminatory policies and comply with fair housing laws.

These are just two examples of the many ways that the work of FHJC creates change, not just for one individual or family, but for thousands of people who are being denied their right to equal housing opportunity.

We hope you’ll consider making a year-end contribution to help the FHJC pursue a more just, welcoming New York for all of its residents. With your help, we can make 2024 even more remarkable. Thank you for considering donating.