The Brownsville Plan is the result of a community-driven process to identify neighborhood goals, form strategies to address local needs, and find resources to fill gaps in service. The Brownsville Plan will result in the creation of over 2,500 new affordable homes, representing more than $1 billion of investment in housing in the neighborhood.
New Development on City-owned land will support the goals of improving health, safety, community economic development, and the arts in the form of a new cultural center in Brownsville, a new center for innovation and entrepreneurship, and new neighborhood retail and space for community organizations, all paired with affordable housing. In addition to housing, The Brownsville Plan coordinates over $150 million in City investments, including renovations of Brownsville's parks, improvements to the open spaces on NYCHA developments, a new community center for teens at Brownsville Houses, and a new Neighborhood Health Action Center.
Much of this work will be complete or underway withing the next five years, and HPD and its sister agencies are committed to regular communication and updates on these projects. View the Executive Summary.
The Brownsville Plan Second Annual Progress Report outlines the progress on the commitments made in the Brownsville Plan.
Examples of progress include almost 700 new affordable homes and community spaces currently under construction, the transformative renovation of Betsy Head Park that began construction in late 2018, renovation of an industrial building to spur jobs, improved access to fresh and healthy foods, pedestrian safety improvements, expanded activities for children and young adults, and so much more. See the updated appendix with the Two-Year Project Tracker.
HPD has also designated development teams identified through the Brownsville Request for Proposals (RFP) process that launched in August 2017 for three sites in the neighborhood. These projects are currently undergoing pre-development activities and preparing for environmental review and the public land use review.
The Brownsville Plan builds on extensive planning work that has been conducted by neighborhood organizations over the past five years, as well as the interagency coordination effort during the 100 Days of Progress Initiative in 2014. Between July 2016 and June 2017, HPD hosted a series of public interactive workshops:
HPD also implemented an online and text engagement tool using coUrbanize, participated in community events to gather input, and convened a group of Community Partners with representatives from more than 30 neighborhood organizations who advised the City at bi-monthly meetings throughout the process.
A critical strategy to the implementation of this plan is the Brownsville RFP for the development of City-owned vacant land. An RFP is a competitive review process in which HPD asks developers to submit project proposals that respond to defined goals and guidelines that are informed by the community. Non-profit and for-profit were eligible to apply for and seek City financing for their proposals. HPD works together with development teams to ensure that projects are designed and built in keeping with the agency's standards for quality construction and environmental sustainability.
The RFP, issued on August 23, 2017 and designated on July 26, 2018, encouraged respondents to incorporate that goals and strategies outlined in this neighborhood plan. The RFP features three themes that reflect community priorities:
The plan is organized around eight strategies to guide City agencies and local organizations as they design and implement work in the neighborhood. Any investment has the potential to accomplish multiple goals, and it is important that they aim to achieve a common vision, consider holistic impacts, and identify opportunities for synergy.
01 Promote Active Mixed-Use Corridors
Increase access to services and amenities that bring activity to Brownsville streets, and couple affordable housing development with investments in the public realm to create safe, attractive, and accessible spaces.
02 Improve Connections Throughout the Neighborhood
Implement physical, design, and programmatic interventions that make it easier, safer, and more pleasant to walk and bike throughout the neighborhood, as well as cross to surrounding neighborhoods such as East New York.
03 Create Active and Safe Public Spaces
Improve safety and health by creating high quality places for gathering, recreation, and community building.
04 Provide Resources to Support Healthy Lifestyles
Improve access to healthy food, community gardens, quality healthcare and wellness programs, and places exercise.
05 Connect Brownsville Residents to Jobs and Job Training
Ensure City investments are paired with access to jobs and educational resources for residents, including opportunities in affordable housing construction and management.
06 Support Small Businesses and Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Connect local businesses to resources to start, operate, and expand their business in Brownsville.
07 Improve Housing Stability and Support Residents at Risk of Displacement
Improve housing quality and ensure that residents have opportunities to stay in the neighborhood.
08 Support Capacity Building for Local Organizations
Provide support to local organizations to continue the plan's work into the future.