Page 1


A NOTE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR I remember visiting Harlem as a child. It was a place filled with so much activity—a place of movement. And I agree with Langston Hughes, “I was in love with Harlem long before I got there.” Harlem is the mecca of black American culture; known for its history, politics, economics, art and cuisine. My interest in Harlem then and now lies in the people: the mothers, fathers, grandparents and children, alike. I’d like to think just like those people, West Harlem Group Assistance has been in the forefront and a fixture of this community, upholding over 45 years of culture. As we move to a greater culture, even as we develop a greater more innovative Harlem, the core of our brand will remain the same: securing a diverse and vibrant community. In the midst of Harlem’s Second Renaissance, West Harlem Group Assistance has been granted the unique privilege to serve as the community’s social lever, defending and building a more inclusive Harlem. I see this brand book as a guide to preserving the identity of the families we proudly serve and shaping the dynamic community we know Harlem will grow to be. We value your collaboration in maintaining our brand and mission and appreciate your efforts in championing the people of Harlem. All the best,

Donald C. Notice Executive Director 3

The Foundation


West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. (WHGA) is built upon harnessing the perseverance, pride, strength and talents of Harlem residents. WHGA’s mission is to: • Provide and increase the availability of safe and decent affordable housing • Encourage, facilitate and strengthen the economic viability and stability of Harlem. WHGA has entered the 21st Century with a strategic, broad-based series of community development activities which, in effect, will launch Harlem’s second renaissance by benefitting, strengthening and preserving all positive sectors of the world-renowned community of Harlem.


As Harlem’s oldest and largest community development organization, our vision is to ensure that all responsible residents, community-based organizations and other stakeholders in our community are mobilized and firmly committed to working together willingly and cooperatively. Thus, we are reinvesting in Harlem by building, preserving and sustaining our community. This will ultimately ensure that Harlem is positioned to strive in the 21st Century as a safe and socially stable, healthy, economically-sound, educated, informed and politically strong community.


Our day-to-day in the office is a lot more than a career; it’s purpose-driven. We know that pushing our very unique and rewarding work forward will not happen in a vacuum. It takes the collective ideas and varying experiences of people like you to get things done at WHGA. That said, we have created a work culture that supports diverse perspectives and is inclusive of all backgrounds. We understand the impact of our programs and services and value the purpose that each New Yorker has. We thrive in a work environment that is conducive to growth and encourage our staff to own their progress. That’s why we provide professional development opportunities that build competitive employees. With drive, ambition, and the right supports, you can excel at WHGA. WHGA has so much to offer not just to the community we serve, but to the talent who make our work possible. 5

VALUES 1. Treat everyone with dignity and respect. 2. M  ake sure every team member is educated about what is expected of him/her and that he/she has the guidance and support to meet those expectations. 3. C  ommunicate and share information in timely, accurate, respectful, and appropriate ways within the organization and with our clients, partners, and community. 4. B  e reliable, accountable, and responsible to the team, the organization, and to those we serve. If a commitment is made - it will be done. If it can’t be met, let others know as soon as possible. 5. Look for opportunities to make new ideas work, not for reasons as to why they won’t work. 6. Focus on the positive - what’s working well; not on what’s going wrong. 7. Manage conflicts within your team and those between your team and other departments. Avoid blame; cooperate; be willing to use resources to solve problems affecting your team; and seek to develop shared solutions that can work for all involved. 8. Lead by example. Model the values and approaches expected of team members and maintain fairness and consistency in leading your team. 6


West Harlem Group Assistance, Inc. (WHGA) is an award-winning community development corporation leading NYC in building and preserving smarter, safer and more inclusive communities. Our mission is to strengthen the economic viability of Harlem and empower our clients to lead in the new frontier of social change. We provide every member of our community access to safe affordable housing and programs that improve their quality of life, personally and professionally. Our services are designed to advance small businesses, families, those displaced by crises and individuals struggling with mental or physical health issues.


For over 45 years, we’ve been responding to the needs of the Harlem community to build and preserve affordable housing while providing some of New York City’s most vulnerable residents with the resources of achieving economic prosperity and well-being. From its humble beginning to its current prominence as a leading New York City community development corporation, the history of WHGA coincides with three major periods of Harlem’s history: The Abandonment Era, The Revitalization era, and the present day Second Renaissance Era.


Our History 1. T HE ABANDONMENT ERA 1970–1986

ACQUIRED 6 BUILDINGS CONSISTING OF 92 UNITS OF VARIOUS SIZES In the 1960s, Harlem was in dire economic straits. Community blight, engineered by discriminatory banking practices and unscrupulous economic divestment schemes made it impossible for one of the nation’s largest Black communities to thrive. We were founded in 1971 by community activists concerned about the lack of decent affordable housing and social services in West Harlem and Hamilton Heights.

Community activists create WHGA as the one of the first community development corporations in Harlem.


Changes in the tax laws incentivized private investment in affordable housing. The timing of this legislation and the growth in investment marked Harlem’s transition into the Revitalization Era.


Groundbreaking for Joseph Yancey Houses. (1999) 8


With the new millennium came a new perception of Harlem as an area ripe for growth and new beginnings. The real estate market began to skyrocket, ushering in an unprecedented era of growth and prosperity. The city was soon leading an aggressive effort to reclaim and renovate abandoned buildings. Harlem’s newfound status as a reinvigorated arts district came at a price to the longtime low-and moderate-income residents who increasingly saw themselves priced out of the real estate market. 9

Ribbon-Cutting ceremony for Phase I of the re-development of A. Philip Randolph Houses.



A. Philip Randolph Houses A. Philip Randolph Houses is a historic residential development providing quality and affordable housing to low and moderate-income families. Located in the heart of Harlem on West 114th Street, WHGA serves as the co-developer of Randolph Houses alongside Trinity Financial, U.S. Housing and Urban Development, NYC Housing Authority, NYC Housing Preservation and Development, Enterprise Community Partners and Bank of America. Randolph Houses offers 283 units of affordable housing, a computer lab, a fitness room, a playground and a social services center. We are proud to serve as the resident services coordinator, providing workforce development, health and wellness programs and a myriad of other enrichment services to families that reside throughout the 36 historic landmark buildings. 10

Blocks OUR


Communities for Healthy Food (CfHF)

The Communities for Healthy Food (CfHF) hub was founded in 2014 as an extension of West Harlem Group Assistance to provide the community with lifesaving resources that promote healthy eating. Our commitment to serving thousands of New Yorkers fresh produce and healthy foods every month has earned us the United Way of New York Achievement Award. The hub helps qualified clients apply for food assistance programs, provides recipes and free ingredients during cooking demonstrations and cooking classes, and shares practical information for healthy eating on a budget.

Convent Avenue Family Living Center (CAFLC) Located in the heart of the burgeoning community of West Harlem, the Convent Avenue Family Living Center (CAFLC) offers transitional housing to 71 families. Since 1989, we have provided emergency housing and comprehensive social services to NYC families displaced by fire, natural disaster or an order to vacate from their dwelling. As an extension of West Harlem Group Assistance, we leverage our strong network to architect enriching programs that empower each member of the family to seamlessly continue their daily routine and achieve their personal goals. We work in partnership with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) agency to establish a safe and welcoming center that enables our clients to quickly progress to permanent housing and independent living. 11

Building Blocks Financial Planning & Homeownership Program West Harlem Group Assistance’s Financial Planning and Homeownership Program empowers our clients to spend smarter, save more aggressively and achieve their financial goals by providing the tools and resources to build wealth and assets. Since 1999, we have partnered with NYS Housing and Community Renewal, NYC Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) as well as corporate sponsors to offer free financial education and counseling services to NYC residents. Our portfolio of educational services includes a credit resource center, housing and social services specialists, first-time homebuyer assistance, mortgage modification support and workforce development.

Marguerite Wilkes Center

For nearly 30 years, the Marguerite Wilkes Center, an affiliate of West Harlem Group Assistance, has provided housing and life-long tools to help chronically homeless adults with mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders establish meaningful lives in society. Working in partnership with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), our unique approach to highly effective treatment strategies help clients identify root issues, change the face and voice of mental illness, and chart the path to full recovery and independent living. 12

Senior Living West Harlem Group Assistance opened Joseph Yancey Jr. Houses and Mannie Wilson Towers to offer the senior community (62+) of NYC the opportunity to live independently with safe, affordable housing. Both our communities house a social service coordinator that curates activities for our seniors, placing an emphasis on healthy eating, financial and legal assistance, as well as physical and mental wellness.

Oberia Dempsey Center The Oberia D. Dempsey Multi-Service Center is an eclectic gatekeeper for neighborhood services that help the community address their needs, focus on and build their strengths, and tap into their passions and unique callings. We serve more than 80,000 New York City

residents a month through the enriching programbased organizations that dwell within Dempsey. Our center comes to life when our community members use this venue for events such as plays, panel discussions, interactive workshops and athletic tournaments.

West Harlem Residence Since 2009, West Harlem Residence, a family living center. has provided safe and transitional housing for families and their children as they navigate city-wide resources to sustain independent living. Working in partnership with the Department of Homeless Services (DHS), we operate a 45-unit facility and accept clients by referral only. Our case managers work in collaboration with brokers, realtors, housing assistance programs, employment specialists, and state agencies in New York City to realize families’ timeline and practical goals for securing permanent housing. As an affiliate of West Harlem Group Assistance, our track-record of assessing families’ social, emotional, and economic needs to help our clients identify practical solutions that combat homelessness on a case-by-case basis. 13

In Progress Schomburg Houses

Since WHGA launched its housing renovation program in 1981, we have led the development of over 1693 units of affordable housing, securing over one quarter of a billion dollars in construction finance and equity.

WHGA is excited about Mayor DeBlasio’s aggressive housing plan, pushing for 200,000 new affordable housing units over the next 10 years. We plan to pursue opportunities to partner with the city in expanding the pool of affordable housing in Harlem.

Our housing serves some of Harlem’s most vulnerable populations including homeless families, seniors, adults transitioning from mental health facilities and prison as well as very low-income unemployed households barely surviving on public assistance. Low- and moderate-income working families also benefit from our below-market rental and homeownership development projects.

Government funding and tax credit subsidies enable WHGA to serve Low-Income Households earning at or below 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). For 2014, the Area Median Income was $83,900.

Incomes at 60% Area Median Income (AMI) by family size:


Family of four



Family of three

Family of two


$35,280 Individual

New & Affordable Housing Units In Progress DEVELOPMENTS




Dorie Miller


$15 million

June 2017

HPD, New York Equity Fund, JPMorgan Chase

Randolph Apartments Phase One


$100 million

November 2015

Trinity Financial(Co-developer), HPD, Housing Development Corporation, NYCHA

Randolph Apartments Phase Two


$80 million

November 2017

Same as Phase One

Schomburg Apartments Phase Two


$20 million

Phase 1, May 2015 Phase 2, December 2015

HPD, New York Equity Fund, JPMorgan Chase




$4 million



$219 million

WHGA Affordable Housing Sites serve:

1,641 households 4,500+ residents

Winter 2016

WHGA Resident Income Breakdown

Summary of Affordable Housing Development



(Below 60% AMI)




Low Income Housing Tax Credits



Low Income Coops


Moderate Income Homeownership


Homeless Homeownership


NYCHA - Redevelopment


Senior Housing


Office of Mental Health


Community Management Program







(60-80% AMI)

Formally Homeless

WHGA Affordable Housing Portfolio

61 Buildings 167 Senior Living Apartments 30 Adult Mental Health Units

Community Preservation Corporation, LISC

Affordable Housing Management Team

34 people

comprise our affordable housing management team. Lead by the Chief Operating Officer, this multi-faceted team maintains our buildings, provides tenant services, ensures compliance with government funders and provide accounting and fiscal oversight. 15


We have grown to become a leading community development corporation because we know our community. When we are creating our copy, we envision the father who works extra shifts to maintain a healthy household and give his children a quality education. We value the elder who serves as the community’s historian. And we are inspired by the child who sits on the stoop, dreaming of one day ruling the royal kingdom of Harlem. They are all humans with goals and dreams and as a community development organization we remove any extra barriers to help them achieve those aspirations.



Not Our Style

Our Style

Keep It Simple.

”Key to the preservation of affordable housing in predominantly low-income communities such as Harlem, will be other project-based subsidies such as Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) that provide substantial long term housing subsidies to low income households.”

”Finding long-term housing subsidies is key to helping us provide affordable housing for low-income families.”

Be Positive.

”WHGA targets senior and low-income 1-3 family homeowners facing foreclosure, or whose homes are at risk due to mortgage default, predatory loans, and tax arrearages.”

”We help you get a handle on your finances and work with you to renegotiate the terms of your mortgage with your lender to reach a more affordable outcome.”

Put People First.

”WHGA was founded in 1971 to revitalize the under-invested West and Central Harlem communities riddled with dilapidated and abandoned buildings.”

”We were built upon harnessing the perseverance, pride, strength and talents of Harlem residents.”

Be Personable.

”WHGA’s core efforts include affordable housing development and preservation as well as asset building initiatives such as homeownership and small business development.”

”We provide our community access to affordable housing and programs that improve their wealth and wellness.”


Application SOCIAL TONE & PLATFORMS We see our social media channels as another way to connect with our community and show our personality. On our social media platforms, we celebrate; we inform; and most of all we represent our community. Our social tone extracts the same authentic, personable and inspirational elements of our brand. We like to think of our social media side as the “cooler� version of our brand. There, we are bit more expressive and thrive off the engagement of our community.

@WestHarlemGroupAssistanceInc @whga.healthyeating

Facebook lets us share our information in a very visual way. We engage our Facebook followers with quick updates, important events and heartwarming stories.


Our community loves to follow us on Twitter. We use it to bring awareness to our programs and converse with our community.

West Harlem Group Assistance We are very proud of our past and where we are going. Our YouTube videos give an overview of our success in developing Harlem for over 45 years. 18


Our digital and print content is designed to give a glimpse of the people we serve and the work we do. Our website,, is a resource center for our community. We have optimized the navigation for individuals looking to apply for housing and employment; those who wish to donate to our mission; and even those seeking more information for their health and economic wellness. Throughout our material we use photography, videos and content to tell the stories of our community members and position Harlem as a vibrant and diverse community.



PMS: Pantone 583 CMYK: c=27, y=100, k=15 RGB: ABBD26

We selected the WHGA green to represent the growth and renewal of our beloved community. The energy we invest into our projects yields a return of greater wellness for our community members and contributes to the cultural vibrancy and harmony of NYC. This hue of green serves as our symbol for that.



CMYK: c=100, m=90, y=10 RGB: 25408F


CMYK: c=20, m=100, y=100, k=30 RGB: 96171A


CMYK: c=30, m=25, y=32 RGB: B6B2A8

We have a range of colors to support and accent our primary color. These are designated colors that compliment our brand personality and are the only recommended secondary colors to maintain our brand integrity. These colors are not stand alone representations of our brand. We recommend you use our primary color and the maximum of two (2) secondary colors. 21


Gray: 36K

Knockout version: To be used on black or very dark background colors

Black & White version: To be used in 1-color printing only

BACKGROUND The WHGA logo can be used on photography or solid color background. We suggest the usage of the logo on either white or black to keep the primary colors prominent in our brand. It must not be used with opacity or any image or color that makes the logo illegible.






Minimum size of logo in print 1 inch

The cap-height of the “P“ defines the X-measurement of the logo. X is then used as a clear space to surround the logo. This clear space helps maintain the integrity of the logo in making sure that other elements are far enough away as to not compromise the brand. Clear space helps the logo maintain its identity among other elements. To preserve the legibility and visual identity of the logo, the minimum size used in print should be at 1 inch wide. 23



A. Do not rotate the logo.

B. Do not condense the logo.

C. Do not extend the logo.



Harlem GROUP

Harlem Harlem West GROUP GROUP Harlem GROUP inGROUP the logo.

E. Do not outline the logo.

F. Do not put an opacity on the logo.

G. Do not rearrange elements of the logo.

H. Do not add graphic elements to the logo.

I. Do not change colors of the logo.

Harlem West Do not alter typefaces West D.



J. Do not mix colors in the logo.

K. Do not use the logo on a background with insufficient contrast.

L. Do not apply a gradient on the logo.

M. Do not use the logo on a complicated background.

N. Do not apply a shadow on the logo.

O. Do not use the logo as part of a pattern.


FONTS Futura Family


Futura Light


Futura Book Futura Medium Futura Bold

Healthy, Independent Living for Seniors

Futura Light Condensed Futura Medium Condensed

Am andit ad qui doloratur solupta serum ut ut optatur am volorro ribuscillam eost, omnis volorerciae odit que si aute invella utatquae corero magnimus et et harum cus dolupta turibus is milique res eritaerum cusdandam et volorem. Uptatur? Qui quam es exero ipsusam quiam dolum quassim quiatur sum haritae si odi id ma core cone

Futura Bold Condensed

The Futura font family is a classic, sans-serif typeface with an architectural feel. It creates a harmonious contrast with the other typeface, Publico.


Publico Family Publico Headline Extra Bold

Healthy, Independent Living for Seniors Healthy, Independent Living for Seniors

Publico Headline Bold Publico Headline Bold Italic Publico Headline Medium Publico Headline Italic

volor sed molupta idenimaion perae nobit et officiis quia nostinctur? Uptius, is nem iumque non consedi gniae. Agnisint, endae esed maximpor aborume nihicip iduntibus, te alibus es aut moluptiusam aut officite volut prempor eprore solor ressitio test earum hitatiuscidi optatem aut illandel moluptassi cum laut volore lacculpa sim rem eium quam as et milit fugit volesti nulloraere di

Publico Headline Roman Publico Headline Light Italic Publico Headline Light Publico Text Roman

The Publico font family is a warm, human serif typeface that is meant to be bold and inviting. It creates a harmonious contrast with the other typeface, Futura.



DESCRIPTION: Our choice in imagery aims to give an authentic depiction of our community and its members. We embrace two styles of photography to bring our brand personality to life. Since we play a significant role in rehabilitating and preserving the community, we employ an architectural style of photography and use natural lighting to appreciate the details and accents of our historic properties. The individuals and families who make up the cultural fabric of NYC serve as our primary subject. We want to visually tell their stories and we do so by employing a documentary and candid style of photography. We use tight shots to empower our subjects, making our brand more personable. 28


WHGAINC.ORG @westharlemgroupassistanceinc @whga.healthyeating


West Harlem Group Assistance

WHGA Brand Guide-7/16/2018- short version  
WHGA Brand Guide-7/16/2018- short version