By District Manager Kenneth Kearns

Bronx Community Board #10
Over the years, there has been a lot of talk of how banks and financial institutions had ignored or abandoned urban areas. In the 1960’s and 70’s, this happened in our own Borough. With the exception of a few institutions, many banks left the Bronx and the results were devastating. In the ensuing years, the economic fortunes of the Borough improved, and we have seen a resurgence of interest on the part of the banking community, thanks to Federal legislative initiatives such as the Community Reinvestment Act. This legislation established thresholds of investment by banks in various communities and mandated the establishment of programs that would stimulate economic growth. Within Bronx Community Board #10, we have seen the banking resurgence, in every community served by the Board one or two new bank branches have opened in the past ten years. The access to capital for loans for cars, mortgages and home improvements in our communities have reached unprecedented levels.
The governmental agency that monitors banking practices is the New York City Community Investment Advisory Board (CIAB). This body was created in 2012, under Local Law 38, otherwise known as the Responsible Banking Act. The Board assesses every two years the banking needs of the City, and evaluates the performance of the banks in meeting those needs. They examine the banking institutions’ success in meeting the needs that were indentified, such as small business lending, lending for affordable housing, efforts to address conditions at foreclosed properties and other areas where banks may meet the needs of communities. In addition, the CIAB publishes an annual report that analyzes the banking institutions’ success in meeting the assessed needs of the community. This information is forwarded to the New York City Banking Commission, who may consider it when approving New York City Designated Banks. On February 12, 2015, the CIAB held a hearing in Bronx County. Below you will find the Testimony of our Board’s Chairman, Martin Prince:

“To Commissioner Jiha and fellow Board members of the New York City Community Investment Advisory Board, my name is Martin Prince and I am Chairman of Bronx Community Board #10. My purpose today, is to offer testimony from my Community Board on the activities of banks within our area of geographic jurisdiction. Bronx Community Board #10 represents the Northeast Bronx communities of Co-op City, City Island, Pelham Bay, Country Club, Throggs Neck, Westchester Square and Zerega. The banks that cover our community board include the following: Citi, HSBC, Capital One, Apple Bank for Savings, Chase, TD Bank, Hudson Valley Bank, Ridgewood Savings Bank, Amalgamated Bank, Alma Bank, and New York Community Bank. As you can see we are represented well, as opposed to other communities where basic banking services are not provided. Our concern lies with the compliance levels of these banks with the Federal Community Reinvestment Act, and the Responsible Banking Act.
Bronx Community Board #10 enjoys the presence of many fine civic associations that provide youth and senior services, and athletic programs. We at the Community Board are not aware of the efforts on the part of these financial institutions to disseminate information regarding the availability of funds to support community organizations from these banks. The funding that does exist is episodic and is granted on an intermittent basis, for instance JP Morgan Chase, donated a former Washington Mutual Bank Branch to the Bronx Council of the Arts. While this was an incredible gesture of support to the community that is much appreciated, it is our Board’s contention, that more work needs to be done with respect to the dissemination of information regarding the potential of the philanthropic and business development arms of these institutions in making the public aware of their ability to assist community based service organizations. We would like to see a more robust effort displayed by the management of these institutions in this regard. Organizations that could benefit from assistance in our Community Board include, but are not limited to the following: the Westchester Square Business Improvement District, the Pelham Bay Merchants, the Throggs Neck Merchants Association, the City Island Chamber of Commerce, Throggs Neck Volunteer Ambulance Corps and several little league and senior organizations. With respect to the requirement that most of the banks have, regarding that the recipient of corporate giving efforts to provide opportunities for financial education, we at the Board are sure that any recipient organization would be willing to incorporate that component in their program.
Additionally, we would like to see a system established that would provide for dedicated communication between the financial institutions and the Community Boards, to disseminate information regarding the CIAB, we feel that this would increase the organization’s presence in the community and enable the Board to become a true community partner.
In closing, we at Bronx Community Board #10 would like to see a more fulsome effort on the part of the banking institutions that service our communities, to let responsible community actors know of how they may help our neighborhoods grow and prosper. ”
Through our testimony, we hope to impart to the banking community, the need on their part, to increase services to communities in general.
The fact that New York City has a homeless problem is readily apparent every day. In our own Community Board service area, we see individuals and groups congregating at Pelham Bay Park or at the subway stations along the IRT #6 Line. In response to these situations, the Board has enlisted the assistance of Bronx Works, the City contractor in offering people aid and shelter. We also work with MTA Outreach and its contractors to offer these same services to those on the trains. If you see a homeless person, please call the Board at 718-892-1161 or 311 and provide a description and location of the individual and an outreach team will visit them to offer services.
So much of homelessness today, can be directly attributed to evictions that were brought on by New York State’s discontinuance of the Work Advantage Program, which assisted the working poor. With some 58,000 people being identified as homeless, many of them women and children, the City’s Department of Homeless Services has ramped up its eviction prevention program known as Homebase. This program offers a range of services that include eviction prevention, help in securing public benefits, job placement, financial counseling, money management and short-term financial assistance. This program is very successful in preventing evictions. The Community Board #10 Homebase office is located at 2155 Blackrock Avenue and they can be reached at 718-414-1050.

The New York Wildlife Conservation Society (the Bronx Zoo) is once again offering its Temporary Employment Program for positions in their restaurants, merchandising unit, admissions and guest relations, maintenance department, ride operations, special animal exhibits, security and guest programming/marketing. All applications must be submitted on-line at
Bronx Community Board #10 reminds all of those who are fortunate to have four legged friends in life , to clean-up after their pet. The pet cannot do this, so you have to. You will be doing the community, your pet and yourself a favor. You will also be avoiding a large fine.
The Board office is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM to meet your service needs. We are located at 3165 E. Tremont Avenue and our phone number is 718-892-1161. You may also contact us via e-mail at Please visit our web site at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email