Governor Andrew Cuomo is set to invest $1.4 billion into a variety of projects in Central Brooklyn over the coming years. Cuomo made the announcement at a meeting held about Vital Brooklyn, as this program is known, at Medgar Evers College on Thursday.
The massive investment covers an expansive list of priorities for the neighborhoods of Crown Heights, East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Brownsville. These priorities include:
- An investment in open space—The governor wants to create parks and athletic fields that are within a 10-minute walk from every neighborhood. He also wants to enhance amenities at school yards and community gardens.
- Affordable housing—Cuomo plans to invest $563 million over the coming years to build 3,000 units of affordable housing on six state-owned sites within these neighborhoods. This will include housing with supportive services, homes for seniors, the formerly incarcerated, and those with developmental disabilities.
- Resiliency—$23 million has been set aside to reduce energy costs for homeowners and business owners through 382 solar projects, and through investment in green jobs training, and sustainable practices.
In addition, the funds, which are a part of the governor’s budget plans, will go towards improving health care, job creation, violence prevention, creating healthy food options, and education in these four neighborhoods.
“Every New Yorker deserves to live in a safe neighborhood with access to jobs, healthcare, affordable housing, green spaces, and healthy food but you can't address one of these without addressing them all,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Today, we begin to create a brighter future for Brooklyn, and make New York a model for development of high need communities across the country.”
UPDATE: Not everyone was cheering Governor Cuomo’s proposal. His frequent nemesis, Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed concerns over this latest proposal.
“So here is a plan theoretically to invest a lot of money in Central Brooklyn,” he said on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC on Friday, the New York Post reported. “I love it if it’s real, so ‘show us the money, show us the beef.’ Whatever phrase you want.”
A spokesperson for Cuomo responded immediately issuing the following statement to the Post: “The mayor was skeptical about whether or not the Second Avenue Subway would open on January 1st, too. He should read the budget – [the Central Brooklyn plan is] in there.”