While neighborhoods like Downtown Brooklyn or Williamsburg have seen an influx of housing and other services over the years, other parts of Brooklyn—such as Brownsville, historically one of the borough’s more impoverished neighborhoods—have been overlooked. But that may soon change: Mayor Bill de Blasio, in conjunction with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, has launched an initiative to create 2,500 new affordable homes in Brownsville, Brooklyn, under what they call “The Brownsville Plan.”
After soliciting community input from more 500 residents and advocacy organizations, the city created a comprehensive plan to improve health, safety, and community economic development throughout the underserved neighborhood.
Along with the creation of new affordable housing on both public land and private-owned sites, the $150 million plan will bring forth enhancements to local parks and roadways, a new community center within NYCHA’s Brownsville Houses, a cultural center, a new health center, and retail space for community organizations, among other improvements over the next five years.
The plan gives the community a much-needed boost by prioritizing roughly $60 million in investments into recreational spaces, collaborating with the Department of Cultural Affairs to materialize a cultural centers at a site near Rockaway Parkway and Chester Street, and ensuring that residents have access to affordable homes.
“From public and affordable housing, to health care facilities, schools, and green space, the Brownsville Plan represents deep commitment and passion by and for family and neighbors, and a blue print to protect and strengthen this important Brooklyn community,” said Mayor de Blasio in a statement.
The next step to propel the plan forward is to announce a Request for Proposals to redevelop several vacant plots of land throughout the neighborhood to create 750 affordable homes. HPD is planning for the creation of another 1,000 affordable apartments on private property.