PACC was formed in 1964 by three civic-minded individuals-Reverend Richard Johnson, Amos Taylor and Furman Walls and others soon joined: Block Associations, PTA's, Tenant Councils, Churches and individuals determined to protect their rights and improve their lives. Working together under the PACC banner, the people of Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, the Wallabout Community and later Bedford Stuyvesant fought for decent, affordable housing, tenants' rights, and economic renewal. Their efforts got attention and results from politicians, bureaucrats, recalcitrant landlords and private agencies.
By 1966, PACC was winning important concessions from New York City government. Seven thousand petition signatures won stepped-up local police protection, and PACC kept organizing. In 1974 the Brooklyn library opened a Clinton Hill branch, a project begun when PACC's 1967 Library Committee submitted 5,000 signatures to Brooklyn Borough President Abe Stark. Ongoing activism by PACC led to new parks, community gardens and new homes where abandoned shells once stood.
PACC's Housing Committee was established in 1970, creating innovative ways to save deteriorating housing stock. An Anti-Demolition Committee was formed, collecting funds and volunteers to seal vacant properties quickly and properly. PACC advocated for a change in City policy away from demolition and towards preservation, and instigated Federal policy to arrange for the sale of federally financed abandoned buildings to local residents. Another PACC focus encouraged the formation of tenant associations, particularly in buildings where conditions had become intolerable. When the Mohawk building was vacated following a serious fire, PACC partnered with the Mohawk Action Committee to redevelop the site, which re-opened in 1984 and was the first sale of a city-owned building requiring community reinvestment dollars. These and other PACC housing initiatives exemplify the consistently inclusive, grassroots nature of PACC's mission and history.
As the years passed, PACC grew and evolved in response to the area's changing needs. By 1980, with housing abandonment an epidemic, PACC established a full-time, professionally staffed office and concentrated on keeping people in their homes, developing and preserving affordable housing, protecting tenant rights, and helping community residents become first-time homeowners or improve the properties they already owned. In 1988 PACC acquired and renovated its first building at 105 Quincy Street, home to twelve working low-income families. To date, PACC Housing Development has rehabilitated 67 buildings comprising 559 residential units, 17 commercial spaces and $92 million of construction. We have sponsored and marketed 406 partnership homes, a 12-unit condominium and 19 two-to-four family homes to provide homeownership opportunities to low and moderate-income families. In 2002, PACC opened the Gibb Mansion, our first supportive housing project.
Today, PACC is experiencing an extraordinary period of transition and growth. We are now an award winning non-profit, with four offices serving Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bedford Stuyvesant and the whole of Brooklyn. With a dedicated staff of over 75, we will continue to: Organize against lead paint hazards in our communities; Fight to preserve Project-based Section 8 Housing, a looming crisis in affordable housing; Offer financial, homeowner and business educational workshops; Provide loans and grants to homebuyers, homeowners and small businesses; Work to prevent foreclosures and; Continue business retention and revitalization activities and begin the process of developing a Business Improvement District on Fulton Street.