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.