FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Eric Bederman (HPD) 212-863-5176

CITY, STATE, FEDERAL AGENCIES, COMMUNITY PARTNERS AND DEVELOPERS LAUNCH COMPREHENSIVE INITIATIVE TO JUMP START POSITIVE CHANGE AND COOPERATION IN BROWNSVILLE COMMUNITY

 

The Brownsville Hundred Days to Progress Initiative to Lay Groundwork for Neighborhood Focused Development

Group of Nearly 40 Government Agencies, Community Organizations, and Developers Coordinate Efforts and Set Goals for Projects in Brownsville

A group of nearly 40 government agencies, community organizations and experienced developers have come together to jumpstart a broad range of initiatives in  Brownsville, Brooklyn, and to lay the groundwork for rethinking how government agencies can better coordinate their efforts within neighborhoods. On September 8th, the City and State along with community partners in Brownsville launched the Hundred Days to Progress initiative. This effort emerged from a meeting in Brownsville in August when nearly 20 agencies and a dozen community organizations came together and agreed to accomplish or set into action projects to address the neighborhood’s immediate needs and to begin to collaborate around meaningful and long-term improvements. In addition to jumpstarting positive change in the neighborhood, the goal is also to lay a solid foundation for long-term partnerships among agencies, community organizations, and other partners dedicated to helping Brownsville residents achieve their goals.  

Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five Borough, Ten Year Plan made an unprecedented commitment to take a comprehensive approach to neighborhood planning and community development – pledging that the City would work with community organizations, state and federal partners, and philanthropic and market investors not only to address a neighborhood’s needs for affordable housing, but also to help bring critical infrastructure and services to neighborhood residents.  The housing plan recognizes that jobs, retail, safety, transit opportunities, a healthy environment, quality educational opportunities, and many other factors play a crucial role in making a place not just a collection of homes, but a thriving neighborhood. 

The Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn faces many challenges, but it also offers a unique opportunity to refine our ability to collaborate for the overall good and benefit of a single community because it is already the focus of development and improvement initiatives on the part of many city and state agencies, community organizations, and for-profit and not-for-profit partners.  Because a comprehensive neighborhood approach requires the coordination of all those who have projects in, or provide services to a particular neighborhood, public agencies have come together with community partners to discuss how best to coordinate our collective efforts in Brownsville and develop processes for ongoing collaboration. 

The neighborhood is already seeing several major new initiatives that could be catalytic along with the work of the Brownsville Partnership and their many partners who are working to bring jobs and other opportunities to the neighborhood, which have the potential to drive significant progress in the community.

The Hundred Days to Progress partners include:

New York City, New York State, and Federal government agencies: Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit (CAU), Department of City Planning (DCP), Department of Education (DOE), Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Department of Probation (DOP), Department of Sanitation (DSNY), Department of Small Business Services (SBS), Department of Transportation (DOT), Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Housing Development Corporation (HDC), Department of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD), Human Resources Administration (HRA), Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City (MF), Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (OCJ), New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), New York Police Department (NYPD), New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Community Organizations: 73rd Precinct Council, Brooklyn Perinatal Network, Brownsville Community Justice Center (Center for Court Innovation), Brooklyn Community Board 16, Community Solutions/Brownsville Partnership, Kinnon Group, Coalition of Young Professionals, Marcus Garvey, Village Tenants Association, Mo Better Jaguars Pop Warner Football Team, Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY), New York Communities for Change, NYCHA Brooklyn East Tenant Association, Ocean Hill Brownsville Coalition of Young Professionals, Ocean Hill Brownsville Neighborhood Improvement Association, Pitkin Avenue BID.

Development partners: Blue Sea Development Company, Dunn Development Corp, L & M Development Partners.

The list of the Hundred Day Commitments made by these agencies and other information can be found on the Hundred Days to Progress webpage.

“Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York set an ambitious goal of financing 200,000 affordable units, and to get there the plan established a blueprint for bringing a comprehensive, multi-agency focus to neighborhood development,” said Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen. “One hundred days is a target to measure our progress, but by no means is it the end of our efforts here. The purpose of this initiative is to change the way we think, and to set a new standard for how government can work smartly and efficiently with our community partners to benefit other neighborhoods across the city.”

“The Hundred Days Initiative recognizes that Brownsville offers a special opportunity for government agencies and community partners to collaborate to help the neighborhood meet its challenges,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “By combining investments in affordable housing with critical investments in infrastructure, education, parks, retail, job training, public safety and health services, together we can help make the neighborhood more sustainable and help its residents thrive. Our goal is to use what we learn here to change how we do business as a city – across agencies and in partnership with the communities we serve. By coordinating our efforts and resources we hope that the whole will be greater than the sum of each agency’s individual parts.”

“We are focused on ensuring that all students in District 23, and across the city, receive the quality education that they deserve and will put them on the path to college, careers, and meaningful and valuable lives. This is a critical effort, and when we collaborate across City agencies, we can lift up students and families. I will continue to work closely with this community and visit schools, support their principals and teachers, and bring progress to Brownsville and its residents. I know we can and will build a better future together,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña.

“There is incredible potential for meaningful economic change in Brownsville, and we will use all available tools in working with our agency partners and the community to help turn that potential into real jobs and opportunity for residents,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball. “The recent launch of the Mother Gaston Boulevard Pops! marketplace demonstrates the power of engagement and dialogue among public, non-profit, and private stakeholders in a coordinated effort. Together in the Hundred Days to Progress initiative, we will do our part to help realize the community’s longstanding vision of an improved quality of life and opportunity."

“The Department of Health has a special focus on Brownsville, as many of its residents face poor health outcomes before, during, and after childbirth. Rates of infant mortality, preterm birth, low birth weight, and prepregnancy obesity are among the highest in the city, as are unemployment, poverty, and violent crime. As such, we are eager to work collaboratively with our partners in addressing the inequities faced by the Brownsville community, most of which relate to health.  We look forward to providing increased nutrition and maternal and child health support to the residents of Brownsville,” said Dr. Aletha Maybank, Director of DOHMH’s Center for Health Equity.

"NYC Parks has made a commitment to create thriving new public spaces throughout the five boroughs, and particularly in neighborhoods like Brownsville that face the challenges of having a dense, fast-growing population and high poverty rates," said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.  "We are proud to join other City agencies in making real change in this community, and to fulfill our commitments by breaking ground on an innovative new play space in the community, at Betsy Head Park."

“We are excited to be working with partner agencies and community organizations to take a ground-up, cohesive approach to creating good jobs, stronger businesses, and a fairer economy for residents in Brownsville,” said Maria Torres-Springer, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Through this initiative, we will help support a healthy mix of retail, improve storefronts, provide entrepreneurship courses, and create connections to training and jobs that will help drive real change for the neighborhood.”

“Brownsville is home to more than 18,000 NYCHA residents who are an integral part of the community and its efforts to thrive in years ahead,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye.  “NYCHA is pleased to be working collaboratively among so many City agencies, businesses, residents and local organizations to improve quality of life in the neighborhood and help realize Mayor de Blasio’s exciting vision of a stronger community.” 

City Planning Chairman Carl Weisbrod said, “We’re excited to support the Hundred Days to Progress initiative to address the wide range of needs of the Brownsville community. We look forward to a continuing collaboration with our fellow City agencies and the Brownsville community to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood.”

“The Brownsville 100 Days of progress initiative is part of our commitment to promote smart public safety at the neighborhood level,” said Elizabeth Glazer, director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. “Reducing crime for the long-term will take not just boots on the ground, but also increasing opportunities for work, play, education, and neighborhood engagement. The Brownsville initiative unites all agencies in implementing an integrated plan.”

Department of Probation Commissioner Ana Bermúdez said, “The New York City Department of Probation (DOP) is delighted to participate in Brownsville: Hundred Days to Progress.  Collaborative partnerships with community-based organizations and other city agencies help build safer and stronger communities.  Collective resources and partnerships allow us to foster the personal growth of our clients; support the health of their communities; and expand opportunities so that they can move out of the criminal and juvenile justice systems.  I want to thank Mayor de Blasio for his leadership on this important issue.”

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