Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a comprehensive plan called “Vital Brooklyn,” last Thursday at Medgar Evers College that would channel $1.4 billion of New York State’s resources to poverty-stricken areas of Central and East Brooklyn, including East New York, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights, reported The New York Times.
Persistent problems including poverty, violence, obesity and unemployment were behind the governor’s decision to earmark Central and East Brooklyn– areas with stats higher than the city and state averages– as recipients of the lionshare of the money.
The plan— a “soup-to-nuts” approach that he said was designed to give central Brooklyn enough resources so its residents could be “in a position to help themselves.”– would create 3,000 affordable housing units and 7,600 new jobs. A large amount of funding also was set aside to finance improvements in parks and recreation, aiming to eliminate “park deserts” by building green spaces within a 10-minute walk of every neighborhood.
A $700 million capital investment in health care would help create a network of 36 new ambulatory care centers, and $1.2 million would go toward youth development would create 30 new environmental education sites across the community.
“This plan is a dramatic and comprehensive effort to solve problems that have existed in Central Brooklyn for decades,” Rep. Hakeem Jeffries told the Times. “We think it’s a meaningful initiative.”
However, specific details– such as where the state would find the space to build the affordable housing or the vacant land with which to create new parks– or how the plan will be received in Albany remained unclear. A spokesman for the Senate Republicans said only that Cuomo’s entire budget proposal was under review. The state budget is due April 1.