Does Your At-Home Business Meet NYCHA Requirements?
Evelynda Santos has a really easy commute – this resident of the Lower East Side’s LaGuardia Houses runs a City-licensed family day care business out of her home. For the past year, she has given the parents of eight children from the neighborhood a priceless peace of mind, knowing that their little ones are safe and sound during the workday.
Ms. Santos said that NYCHA’s Office of Resident Economic Empowerment & Sustainability (REES) helped her get her business up and running. “They connected me with NYCHA partners such as the New York City Department of Small Business Services, which provided me with business training,” she explained. “I was also connected to Kiva Zip, where I secured a loan through their crowdfunding platform to start my business.”
Before she started her family day care business, Ms. Santos worked with infants and children in a variety of jobs for several years, including through afterschool programs and the New York City Early Literacy Learning program at NYCHA community centers. Her advice for others who want to start a home-based business is, “Follow your dreams and they will become a reality if you work hard and stay focused.” Residents with their own entrepreneurial ambitions can get connected to partners that can assist with the various aspects of launching and operating a business by calling REES at 718-289-8100 or registering for an upcoming information session or resident business development orientation at www.opportunitynycha.org.
Of course, not all businesses can be run out of a NYCHA apartment. For instance, businesses that are illegal, make the apartment uninhabitable, involve food/beverage preparation or sale in the apartment, disturb other residents, involve heavy machinery or hazardous materials, or consume excessive amounts of utilities like electricity, water, or gas (e.g., hair salons) are not allowed. Also, the apartment must continue to be used primarily as a residence. Residents are responsible for obtaining all licenses, permits, and insurance needed to operate a business and for making sure that the business complies with all applicable laws and regulations. Visit www.opportunitynycha.org/business-development/home-based-business to learn more about the kinds of businesses that are permitted in a NYCHA apartment.