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Our History

Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation was created in 1978 by a group of community residents, civic and religious leaders elected officials and business owners in response to serious social and economic decline that engulfed the entire Rockaway peninsula and Broad Channel region. This included deteriorated commercial areas, residential blight, substandard housing, and high rates of poverty, unemployment, and crime. Their call to action was to develop a comprehensive community development organization to serve the entire Rockaways region, an area that includes eleven distinct neighborhoods from Far Rockaway to Breezy Point covering an eleven-mile Rockaway peninsula. In order to achieve this lofty goal, the Founders strategically merged the organization to acquire the programs and services, necessary to achieve Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation’s goal. In 1987, Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation as we know it today is the result the consolidation of three (3) smaller agencies: Far Rockaway Revitalization Corporation, The Rockaway Local Development Corporation, and Arverne Hammels Holland Seaside Housing Corporation that previously served the eastern, western and central sections of the peninsula, respectively. The outcome of these mergers and program expansions was the creation of Rockaway’s first Peninsula-wide development organization, governed by a Board of Directors representing all major ethnic groups, businesses, institutions, and neighborhoods on the Peninsula. It also represented Rockaway’s first-ever professionally staffed, job placement and training service.

Since our inception, Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation’s major priority has been to serve as a catalyst for the community’s revitalization by initiating community development activities, which remove barriers to economic growth, stimulate the local economy, and create jobs. Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation’s multi-service programs enhance the quality and diversity of educational offerings for students, reduce the blight and neglect of our neighborhoods, and assist our residents in overcoming the community’s severe geographic and social isolation.

We remain grateful to the Founders of Rockaway Development & Revitalization Corporation and will continue to honor their legacy by striving to achieve our mission, “to promote the revitalization of the Rockaway’s economic base and neighborhoods, and to secure an improved quality of life for its residents.”