Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last week unveiled a $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn program to transform areas of Central Brooklyn plagued by systemic violence and entrenched poverty.
The plan will focus on increasing access to open spaces and healthy food, while increasing access and quality of health care services and preventive care.
It will also prioritize investments in resiliency and affordable housing, as well as job creation, youth development, and community violence prevention.
Social and economic indicators show that Central Brooklyn is one of the most disadvantaged areas in all of New York State, with measurably higher rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure, limited access to healthy foods or opportunities for physical activity, high rates of violence and crime, wide economic disparities from unemployment to poverty levels, and inadequate access to high quality healthcare and mental health services.
Governor Cuomo said, “We are going to employ a new holistic plan that will bring health and wellness to one of the most disadvantaged parts of the state. Today, we begin to create a brighter future for Brooklyn, and make New York a model for development of high need communities across the country.”
Over 3,000 new multi-family affordable housing units will be built at six State-owned sites in Central Brooklyn where residents pay half of their total household income on rent alone, compared to 32 percent of household income statewide.
To battle the dual challenge of being vulnerable to extreme weather, while its need for electricity is increasing, Central Brooklyn will see more renewable and redundant energy sources employed, energy efficiency and green jobs training and 382 new solar projects to cut energy costs for residents through 62 multi-family and 87 single-family energy efficiency projects.
15 new co-generation projects will be created and the Clarkson Avenue Microgrid Project, linking Kings County Hospital, SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Kingsboro Psychiatric Center with a resilient source of on-site backup power, will be advanced.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, “I commend the State for making this long-awaited investment in the health and wellness of central Brooklyn.”