BRIC TV #BHeard Town Hall Series On Housing Insecurity in New York Culminates With, “Luck & Lotto: The Scarcity of Low Income and Affordable Housing in NYC”



Elisa Smilovitz / 551.486.3273 / [email protected]
James Michael Nichols, BRIC / 718.683.5980 / [email protected]


BRIC TV #BHeard Town Hall Series On Housing Insecurity in New York Culminates With, “Luck & Lotto: The Scarcity of Low Income and Affordable Housing in NYC”


On May 18, BRIC TV will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the housing lottery system and possible alternatives for low income and working class households



BROOKLYN — BRIC, a leading, multi-disciplinary arts and media institution anchored in downtown Brooklyn, announced today the participants in the third #BHeard Town Hall in its series on housing insecurity in New York taking place at BRIC House (647 Fulton) in Downtown Brooklyn on Thursday, May 18, 2023, from 7 – 8:30 PM. “Luck & Lotto: The Scarcity of Low Income and Affordable Housing in NYC,” presented by BRIC TV in partnership with THE CITY, will bring together experts and leaders to discuss NYC Housing Connect and the lottery system that helps low income and working class families find adequate and affordable housing proportionate to their incomes.


“Luck & Lotto” panelists include:

Grisel Cardona, Single mom of three, Housing Lottery Recipient & Affordable Housing Advocate
Bernell Grier, Executive Director, IMPACCT Brooklyn
Rachel Holliday Smith, Associate Editor,The City
Jessica Katz, Chief Housing Officer
Zellnor Myrie, NYS Senator, District 20
Ron Shiffman, Professor Emeritus, Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment


The Town Hall will be moderated by Brian Vines.


New York City has one of the highest costs of living in the world. NYC Housing Connect is ideally supposed to level the playing field by helping low income and working class families find adequate and affordable housing proportionate to their incomes. However, with a 1 in 592 chance of landing that housing, the odds are not in their favor. Then, even if they’re lucky enough to win the lottery, they undergo a lengthy income verification and credit check process. What happened to the low income and working class enclaves that were once a stalwart of the NYC topography, and what needs to change to ensure New Yorkers have housing options that don’t require winning an unreasonable game of chance? In this #BHeard Town Hall, we ask why it’s so difficult to find affordable housing in NYC.

To attend “Luck & Lotto” RSVP Here. For those who are unable to attend in person, the Town Hall series will be live-streamed on BRIC TV’s YouTube.



Griesel Cardona (She/Her)
Griesel Cardona is a single mom of three children, affordable housing advocate and educator.

Bernell Grier (She/Her)
Bernell K. Grier leads IMPACCT Brooklyn as Executive Director. As a community development professional, Ms. Grier previously served as the Director and Vice President of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York (FHLBNY) Affordable Housing Program..

Rachel Holliday Smith (She/ Her)
Rachel Holliday Smith is an Associate Editor for THE CITY, where she leads explanatory and service journalism. Formerly, Rachel covered Manhattan for THE CITY. She has previously worked for WNYC, DNAinfo and NY1.

Jessica Katz (She/Her)
Jessica Katz oversees the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Housing Authority, the Housing Development Corporation, the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations and the Mayor’s Office to Protect Tenants. She previously served over ten years at HPD, most recently as the Associate Commissioner for New Construction, where she oversaw the creation of affordable and special needs housing. Katz has held a variety of roles at HPD, including as Assistant Commissioner of Special Needs Housing, Senior Adviser to the Commissioner, and Assistant Commissioner for Preservation Finance.

Zellnor Myrie (He/Him)
Senator Zellnor Y. Myrie is a Brooklyn native, attorney, and affordable housing advocate serving the 20th Senate District. Since joining the Senate in 2019, Senator Myrie has served in leadership roles and won several major legislative victories, including New York’s strongest affordable housing and tenant protection laws in generations along with sweeping reforms to New York’s criminal legal system.

Ron Shiffman (He/ Him)
Ronald Shiffman is a Brooklyn-based city planner, architect, professor, and author. In 1964, Ron Shiffman co-founded the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development [PICCED] now known as the Pratt Center for Community Development. [PCCD] – the nation’s largest, public interest architectural, planning and community development office in the country.


The ‘BHeard Town Hall’ series is a long-standing BRIC TV platform for local politicians, activists, journalists, and community members to unpack some of the most important and difficult issues facing the borough. BRIC TV is BRIC’s Emmy-winning, nonprofit community TV channel and digital network featuring content produced by BRIC that’s for, or about Brooklyn.

Since 2014, Town Hall has tackled hard-hitting topics such as the crisis at Rikers Island, accountability in the world of comedy, reparations, and economic equality in New York City.


BRIC is a leading arts and media institution anchored in Downtown Brooklyn whose work spans contemporary visual and performing arts, media, and civic action. For over forty years, BRIC has shaped Brooklyn’s cultural and media landscape by presenting and incubating artists, creators, students, and media makers. As a creative catalyst for their community, BRIC ignites learning in people of all ages and centralizes diverse voices that take risks and drive culture forward. BRIC builds Brooklyn’s creative future. Learn more at bricartsmedia.org.


THE CITY is a nonprofit digital news platform whose mission is to produce free to read, local reporting that serves the people of New York City. Launched in 2019 to fill critical local reporting gaps, THE CITY covers New York’s uncovered neighborhoods, holds the powerful to account, and helps make sense of the greatest city in the world. THE CITY Scoop, its flagship newsletter, is delivered weekdays and Sunday, while additional newsletters serve New Yorkers with news they can use on housing, jobs and civic engagement


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