Release of 100% Affordable Housing RFP to Advance State Commitment to Build 3,000 Units of Affordable Housing in Central Brooklyn
Advances Critical Open Space and Recreation, Healthy Food, Education, Economic Empowerment, Violence Prevention, Healthcare, and Resiliency Initiatives Based on Robust Community Based Planning Effort
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a series of major milestones and the launch of phase two of the groundbreaking Vital Brooklyn initiative, which is transforming the Central Brooklyn region by addressing chronic social, economic, and health disparities.
The Governor announced five RFPs to construct more than 2,000 affordable homes on parcels of land controlled by the state or owned by Brookdale University Hospital, and the state-owned Brooklyn Developmental Center. These solicitations will advance the Vital Brooklyn initiative's $563 million commitment to build 3,000 units of affordable housing in Central Brooklyn. Additionally, the Governor announced a suite of awards and RFPs to improve access to open space, recreation, and healthy food; expand education and economic empowerment initiatives; improve community-based violence prevention; and enhance resiliency.
"Every New Yorker deserves equal access to health care, quality housing, outdoor recreation, and opportunities to earn a decent wage for a fair day's work, but for too long Central Brooklyn has lacked the attention and investments needed to deliver equity for residents," Governor Cuomo said. "The launch of phase two builds on progress already made by continuing to invest in the holistic Vital Brooklyn Initiative to ensure men and women are provided fair housing opportunities within the growing community, as New York works to transform the region into a better, brighter Brooklyn for generations to come."
"For too long Central Brooklyn has lacked the attention and investments needed to deliver equity for residents."
Create More Than 2,000 Units of Affordable Housing on Five Underutilized Hospital Sites
In consultation and coordination with Community Advisory Councils, New York State Homes and Community Renewal is issuing a Request for Proposals for four of the five Vital Brooklyn sites in the first round of the Central Brooklyn affordable housing initiative. In conjunction with HCR, New York State Empire State Development is issuing a Request for Proposals for the fifth site. The developments together will create more than 2,000 affordable homes, advancing the initiative's $563 million goal to create 3,000 units of affordable housing.
The housing units covered by the RFPs announced today will be developed on state-and hospital-controlled sites including three on the grounds of New York State-owned Interfaith Hospital; another owned by Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center; and one located on Brooklyn Developmental Center property. Each location will host a new ambulatory care center, which are among 32 being advanced through the previously described $664 million healthcare transformation investment by the state.
HCR is asking that proposals also incorporate other elements that benefit the surrounding community, including retail and/or community facilities, green building practices, and public and health and wellness-oriented amenities such as open space. Proposals are due by July 13, 2018.
In Summer 2018, HCR will solicit proposals for additional state- and hospital-owned development sites for mixed-use, affordable housing that integrates open space, provides affordable space for community-based organizations, and inspires an active and healthy lifestyle. Additionally, in response to the community request for education and support in preserving healthy housing, HCR will also launch a healthy home preservation program, which will impact 500+ homes.
Open Space and Recreation
Partnership with National Park Service and City of New York to Open Newest and Largest State Park in New York City: In his 2018 State of the State address, Governor Cuomo announced a partnership with the National Park Service and the City of New York to establish a new 407-acre state park on Jamaica Bay in Brooklyn, providing crucial new open space access to one of the most underserved areas of the state. In the first phase, the state will invest up to $15 million to open the property, making available 3.5 miles of waterfront, miles and miles of paths and trails, and a coastal highland, planted with native species. The new state park complements ongoing efforts to build or improve pocket parks, community gardens, playgrounds and recreation centers within a ten-minute walk for every Central Brooklyn resident.
$10.6 Million to Transform 8 Schoolyards into Community Playgrounds and Open Space: The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land, is transforming 8 asphalt schoolyards into dynamic playgrounds and community gathering spaces, adding new recreational opportunities throughout Central Brooklyn. To be complete by 2020, the community playgrounds will be designed through a participatory process engaging the students and families associated with each school. Construction of the first playground located at PS 581 on Winthrop Street is underway and scheduled for completion later this year.
$3.1 Million to Transform Nearly Two Dozen Community Gardens: The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will award grants to fund important capital improvements, such as on-site water, to 22 community gardens throughout Central Brooklyn so that the gardens can increase capacity and are better equipped to serve their local communities. Improvements will begin spring 2018, and be complete by 2020.
$1.8 Million to Enhance 4 Recreation Centers: The Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will award grants in the next few months to fund physical improvements to the following four local recreation centers to better serve their communities: Madison Square Boys and Girls Club Thomas Murphy Clubhouse, North Brooklyn/Twelve Towns YMCA, Bedford Stuyvesant YMCA, and Flatbush YMCA.
$500,000 Mobile Market Grant Program: Mobile food access units are an important means for reaching those who are often most in need of fresh, healthy food. Establishing mobile markets is more flexible and less expensive than constructing and operating full-scale grocery stores or new food pantries, plus they can serve multiple neighborhoods, and better reach people who have limited mobility. The state is launching a competitive grant program to fund additional mobile markets in Central Brooklyn to help ensure that food access improves for all citizens in the area. Eligible not-for-profit organizations are encouraged to apply via the New York State Grants Gateway: www.grantsgateway.ny.gov.
$325,000 to Open 12 New Youth Run Farmers Markets: Starting in the 2018-2019 school year, in partnership with Grow NYC and United Federation of Teachers, 12 community schools in Central Brooklyn will begin teaching youth how to manage and operate farm stands, empowering students with entrepreneurship skills and encouraging them to take an active role in their local food systems. These new access points for fresh fruits and vegetables will help make healthy food more available in a part of the city where food insecurity is the highest and chronic diet related health problems have persisted.
$300,000 Food Insecurity Screening Pilot Program: This summer, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will fund a Food Insecurity Screening Pilot Program within the local healthcare system as a part of the Vital Brooklyn initiative. This pilot program, called for by members of the community, will integrate food security assessments into the broader health care system by establishing a process where seniors are screened for food insecurity within their regular healthcare visits, referred as needed to dietary and nutritional counseling and supported with additional benefits to make fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable.
Comprehensive Education and Youth Development
$1.2 million to 8 New Community Schools: The Governor's 2018 Enacted Budget provides a $50 million increase for a total of $150 million in community school funding statewide. These funds will be used to transform failing and high-needs schools into community schools and provide support services that are unique to each school and address their individual needs. Services may include medical care, dental care, before-and-after school programs, summer learning activities, and other social services.
$200,000 to Build a Community Oyster Reef and Expand the Billion Oyster Project Curriculum: The Department of Environmental Conservation will award $200,000 to the Billion Oyster Project, a NY Harbor Foundation program, to conduct outreach to Vital Brooklyn community schools to recruit new partners in the in-class programming of nature-based science curriculum. With a focus on the history and future of oysters in Jamaica Bay and NY Harbor, participating teachers will be trained in the oyster restoration need and process through the creation and monitoring of an Oyster Restoration Station with their class. The Oyster Restoration Station will be integrated into a Community Oyster Reef that will be developed and installed by the Billion Oyster Program at Paerdegat Basin in Canarsie, creating an additional hands-on learning opportunity and fostering greater ties between the participating students.
$50,000 Investment to Double Jamaica Bay Restoration Corps Summer Youth Employment: The Department of Environmental Conservation has awarded $50,000 to the American Littoral Society to expand Jamaica Bay Restoration Corps to provide more at-risk youth from Vital Brooklyn communities with summer employment opportunities. Paid for their summer work, the R-Corps conduct coastal enhancement and restoration projects, exposing the participants to the potential for jobs in the environmental sector. The state will expand the program this summer, doubling the number of employment spots for interested youth. Recruitment began April 2018.
Economic Empowerment and Job Creation
$250,000 in Green Job Training Grants: The Department of Environmental Conservation is launching a competitive grant program to fund green jobs training programs in Central Brooklyn to help prepare residents for emerging job opportunities in the growing clean, green economy. Eligible not-for-profit organizations are encouraged to apply via the New York State Grants Gateway: www.grantsgateway.ny.gov.
$600,000 to Continue Unprecedented Unemployment Strikeforce Effort: Central Brooklyn has seen significant progress in connecting the unemployed to jobs since the Governor activated the Unemployment Strikeforce. Upon announcement of the Vital Brooklyn initiative, the Governor set a goal of 7,500 hires in Vital Brooklyn target neighborhoods in Central Brooklyn. Since that commitment was made less than a year ago, results have greatly surpassed the stated goal—more than 30,000 individuals have been placed in target areas. The progress is expected to continue as the Department of Labor deploys ongoing Unemployment Strikeforce resources throughout Central Brooklyn, in response to community feedback. These localized resources will be available through December 2018.
Community-Based Violence Prevention
$800,000 to Integrate Social and Mental Health Services within Street Outreach Programs: This pilot program will enhance outreach efforts to prevent and respond to gun violence by connecting social workers with existing violence reduction programs, specifically the city's SNUG/Cure Violence sites, to increase access to social and health services for crime victims, especially traumatized youth. These social workers will also provide crucial support to the program staff and their clients in Central Brooklyn who are impacted by the trauma and complex social needs associated with gun-involved violence. This program is positioned to make a difference in lives of those most impacted by gun violence by leveraging the street current outreach network in New York City and making critical referrals to state resources.
$500,000 to Provide Programming for Young People: This funding will be used to connect the existing violence reduction programs with community-based organizations that provide programs outside of school for youth. These programs range from athletics, such as midnight basketball, to academic support, creative arts, and vocational training. These programs will be geared toward young people between the ages of 14 and 24. In a recent study, there were more than 50,000 young people in Brooklyn - or roughly 1 out of every 6 youth who were neither in school or employed - in 2016. Engaging young people as they transition toward adulthood provides meaningful opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful in future career and education paths.
$825,000 to Expand Outreach on Clean Energy and Efficiency Programs: NYSERDA awarded the Center for New York City Neighborhoods $825,000 to help build clean energy awareness and connect underserved communities with cost-saving opportunities. Under this contract, the Center's community energy advisors will work with residents, small businesses, and multifamily building owners to enable informed energy decisions and increase local participation in energy efficiency and renewable energy programs and services.
$243,090 to Improve Building Efficiency: NYSERDA will partner with RiseBoro Community Partnership (formerly Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council), an affordable housing developer, to invest in training for property managers and building operations and maintenance staff of 130 buildings across Central Brooklyn, including four hyper-efficient Passive House buildings. Partnership includes development of an on-site training lab space and cultivation of in-house trainers.
$1.1 Million to Advance the Clarkson Avenue Microgrid Project: This innovative project will link the Kings County Hospital, SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Kingsboro Psychiatric Center with a resilient source of on-site backup power. It is currently in the design phase of project development, which is expected to be completed before the end of 2018.
$12 Million to Develop 19 Cogeneration Projects: Cogeneration projects, which are small-scale electricity and heat generation units, benefit their hosts by reducing energy costs, lowering emissions, and increasing resiliency by providing back-up power. NYSERDA will be helping develop 19 cogeneration projects by 2020 in Central Brooklyn.
$8.8 Million to Complete Energy Efficiency Upgrades in More Than 7,300 Multi- and Single-Family Residences: NYSERDA is supporting energy efficiency retrofits with technical assistance and project incentives to make multifamily and single family homes in the Vital Brooklyn area more energy efficient. NYSERDA will complete energy cost-saving upgrades to more than 7,300 home and apartments in Central Brooklyn by the end of 2018.
$1.5 Million to Support More Than 460 Solar Projects: Since the launch of the Vital Brooklyn initiative, more than 460 solar projects have been completed at residences, schools, and small business in Central Brooklyn.
Expanding Operation Eco-Quality: The Department of Environmental Conservation is undertaking an Operation Eco-Quality campaign in the Canarsie area to educate approximately 70 small to medium businesses on best management practices for compliance with a spectrum of state environmental laws and regulations to protect and improve public health.
$664 Million for the Brooklyn Health Care Facility Transformation Project
In January 2018 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the award of $664 million in funding to One Brooklyn Health to support the state's ongoing effort to create a sustainable health care system that expands access and transforms care throughout Central Brooklyn. A total of $36 million will be reserved for future awards under the program, resulting in total awards of $700 million when the program is completed.
Consistent with the recommendations in Northwell Health's "The Brooklyn Study: Reshaping the Future of Healthcare," Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center, Interfaith Medical Center and Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center have partnered together to create One Brooklyn Health, which will serve as an integrated health care delivery system in Central Brooklyn.
The funds will support the development of an expansive integrated ambulatory care network, significant infrastructure modernization at each of the three hospital facilities, including regionalizing clinical programs and restructuring inpatient services, and the creation of enterprise wide health information technology platform to improve coordination and delivery of care through an efficient, high quality regional health care delivery system.
Specifically, $664 million of funding to One Brooklyn Health will support:
- Include partnerships with four Brooklyn Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)—Bed Stuy Family Health Center, ODA Crown Heights, Brightpoint Health, and the Brownsville Multi-Service Center—to expand primary care capacity of community-based organizations;
- Build programmatic bridges with SUNY Downstate and support the academic mission and vision of University Hospital;
- Integrate with new affordable housing developments which will be built surrounding the three One Brooklyn Health hospitals to include on-site wellness amenities such as urgent care, primary care, and specialty practices; and
- Create 255 net new jobs and help recruit 300 primary care physicians to the Central Brooklyn area, which has some of lowest rates of primary care physicians per capita in the state.
- Brookdale will undergo significant facility improvements to maintain its role in the community as a regional trauma center, including the development of a new Emergency Department, expansion of its community health center to accommodate a new 30-bed Intensive Care Unit, and development of additional patient care units - which are expected to increase Brookdale's capacity by 100 beds.
- Interfaith will renovate and expand its emergency department, as well develop a Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program Unit supporting the integration of primary and behavioral health care services.
- Kingsbrook Jewish will evolve into a Medical Village with new and expanded ambulatory primary and specialty care, emergency services, and post-acute care services. Through this transformation, Kingsbrook will re-purpose portions of its campus to address social determinants of health, including the provision of new affordable housing and community space.
- $142 million of the $384 million will be reserved to provide One Brooklyn Health flexibility in prioritizing its other clinical and facility infrastructure improvement projects submitted in its application.
- Effectively support clinical decision making, improve quality and patient care outcomes;
- Develop effective care management capabilities and create operating efficiencies; and
- Enable uniform measurement of medical and social determinants and reporting of a standard set of outcome measures to effectively gauge the success of interventions undertaken by the health system and its community partners is addressing social determinants of healthcare and its impact on community health status.
Senator Velmanette Montgomery said, "The funding coming into Central Brooklyn is so important because it not only streamlines our healthcare delivery system but also begins to address longstanding issues that affect the health of my constituents such as access to affordable housing, safe community spaces and fresh food. There is more to wellness than just doctor's visits and I am thankful to see this recognized in the Vital Brooklyn Initiative."
Senator Kevin S. Parker said, "The challenges in Central Brooklyn are significant and multifaceted, but Governor Cuomo is advancing a smart plan to address those challenges and set an example for the entire plan. I applaud the Governor for working closely with the community and building on the input of local leaders and stakeholders to ensure the Vital Brooklyn initiative helps the most number of Brooklyn residents. From affordable housing to health care, these are the investments that Central Brooklyn needs to overcome decades of neglect. This milestone is exemplary of how we expect our government to get things done - quickly. Not long ago, the Governor announced the Vital Brooklyn initiative with the promise to reinvigorate our communities with improved health services, increased affordable housing, and an overall enhanced quality of life for Brooklynites of all ages. I am encouraged by the swiftness of his administration's efforts to deliver on their promise of a new, healthier, stronger Brooklyn for all."
Senator Martin Malavé Dilan said, "This is exactly the kind of progress our Brooklyn neighborhoods need. The Governor is making good on his promise to bring opportunity to our residents, and the release of the RFP, we can start taking our community steps forward with help from New York's holistic approach to economic development. I look forward to improved health and education services, increased recreation opportunities for residents of all ages, and an overall enhanced quality of life for Brooklynites."
Senator Jesse Hamilton said, "Vital Brooklyn represents a pivotal $1.4 billion investment in our community overcoming challenges. Affordable housing, anti-violence efforts, good jobs, healthy communities, and quality education all stand to benefit as our Central Brooklyn family, friends, and neighbors receive the services they need. I commend Governor Cuomo for spearheading this initiative and for partnering with our communities to see this path breaking initiative through to success. These investments will allow us to realize the promise of a more affordable Brooklyn, a safer Brooklyn, and a more prosperous Brooklyn for all."
Senator Roxanne J. Persaud said, "I commend Governor Cuomo for implementing such a substantial investment in the health and wellness of the people of Brooklyn. From transforming hospitals, to affordable housing, to opening a new state park... "Vital Brooklyn" will improve the lives of New Yorkers for generations to come. Brooklyn has seen the closure of hospitals, and the erosion of affordable housing and green spaces for our families. This project is a great first step towards the Brooklyn we want to see, and I appreciate the Governor's vision."
Assemblyman N. Nick Perry said, "The Vital Brooklyn initiative is a groundbreaking program that delivers for Brooklyn residents. The holistic approach to strengthening the community paves the way for improving quality of life for our residents and building a better future for generations to come. This is a real quality of life boost for the people of Brooklyn and I applaud the Governor for his commitment to Brooklyn and his leadership on this issue."
Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley said, "The Vital Brooklyn initiative is the holistic answer our Central Brooklyn communities have long needed in order to thrive. The Governor is making good on his promise to bring opportunity to our neighborhoods, and by announcing the launch of the RFP, we can start moving our communities forward with help from New York's all-inclusive approach to economic development. From the Bedford Y, to PS 11's Aqua-ponic Farm, to green gardens throughout the district, I look forward to fostering these green and healthy living initiatives as we look to make Central Brooklyn a vital component to the health, welfare and prosperity of our borough, city and state as a whole. I commend Governor Cuomo for pushing forth this initiative that addresses the significant and multifaceted challenges in Central Brooklyn. I applaud the Governor for working closely with the community and building on the input of local leaders and stakeholders to ensure the Vital Brooklyn initiative impacts as many of our Brooklyn residents as possible, particularly our most at-risk communities. From affordable housing to health care, these are the investments that Central Brooklyn needs to overcome decades of neglect."
Assemblywoman Maritza Davila said, "From rebuilding the health care system in Central Brooklyn to increasing access to quality care, the Vital Brooklyn initiative represents a comprehensive approach to improving the lives of our residents. This national model, launched by Governor Cuomo, addresses the needs and challenges in the area and delivers for a community too long neglected. I applaud the Governor for his leadership and look forward to continuing to work together to support Central Brooklyn's upward trajectory."
Assemblyman Erik M. Dilan said, “I thank the Governor for bringing this bold plan to fruition and helping secure the investments needed to deliver quality health care and services to families in every neighborhood. By implementing a holistic approach to economic and community development, we can ensure that our children are left with an even better, stronger place to develop and grow, and that all aspects of life in Brooklyn are improved. The release of affordable housing RFPs is a significant step forward in our efforts to build a better Brooklyn for our residents and I applaud all of our state and local leaders for helping make it happen.”
Assemblywoman Diana C. Richardson said, "On behalf of the residents of the 43rd Assembly District, we thank Governor Andrew Cuomo for understanding the importance of pouring much needed resources into Central Brooklyn. As a community, we see the potential of the Vital Brooklyn Initiative and have worked diligently in efforts to ensure the utmost level of transparency. We graciously welcome solutions to address our affordable housing crisis, poor health outcomes, gun-violence, inadequate access to open space and recreation in addition to economic development. As we move forward in this process, we look forward to this opportunity, to improve lives and build a better tomorrow for all."
Assemblywoman Latrice Walker said, "The Vital Brooklyn initiative is a reminder of how much more that can be accomplished when elected officials work together for the benefit of New Yorkers. These major milestones showcase Governor Cuomo's commitment to the overall health and welfare of the people of Central Brooklyn. Our community deserves quality healthcare, quality affordable housing options, and an overall improvement in quality of life. The Vital Brooklyn initiative provides our community with those options and improvements, and I thank the Governor for his support."
Assemblywoman Jaime R. Williams said, "It is with the utmost pride that I applaud Governor Cuomo on Vital Brooklyn! The successful initiatives of implementing innovative programs for the benefit of not only the 59th Assembly District but Central Brooklyn in general, will not only better the borough of Brooklyn but improve quality-of-life and employment and economic circumstances throughout all of New York State. Additionally, the Governor and I worked hand-in-hand to increase the allocation for anti-gun programs and education so as to protect and insure the well-being of New York State and 59th Assembly District residents. I am confident that together with the Governor and the other elected officials that the infrastructure put forward by Vital Brooklyn will be an astounding success."
Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright said, "We, the Brooklyn Members of the NYS Assembly, have worked tirelessly with our community stakeholders to develop a multi-pronged plan to address local needs for affordable senior housing, maternal and perinatal health care, and access to locally grown food. We welcome Governor Cuomo's Vital Brooklyn Initiative as this type of comprehensive investment is long overdue. The Vital Brooklyn initiative has the potential to create economic and wellness opportunities throughout Brooklyn. I thank Governor Cuomo for his support for the people of Brooklyn, and look forward to what is next for our community."
Public Advocate Letitia James said, "In order to ensure the health of our communities, we must enact comprehensive and holistic programs. Vital Brooklyn understands on a fundamental level, true health also takes creating affordable housing, green spaces, and good jobs. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for this unparalleled commitment to Brooklyn and our hardworking families."
Council Member Robert E. Cornegy Jr. said, "I applaud the Governor for stepping in when action was needed and implementing the Vital Brooklyn initiative. By bringing together local leaders and community experts, New York has a roadmap and the investments needed to build a better Brooklyn from the ground up. From enhancing health care services, to increasing access to affordable housing and opening new parks for outdoor recreation, Governor Cuomo is helping improve the lives of Brooklynites throughout this borough."
Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuel said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo today on his leadership and emphasizing that everyone deserves access to 21st century solutions and services - from health care to education and everything in between. Brooklyn's 41st Council District has been hit hard with ongoing problems that have gone unaddressed for too long. I thank Governor Cuomo for working with my colleagues in state government to secure the investments needed to build a better tomorrow. I look forward to our children and our children's children, experiencing a cleaner, better, brighter borough."
Council Member Rafael L Espinal Jr. said, "For decades Central and East Brooklyn have been ignored by our city and state governments, this huge injection of resources will ensure the people of Brooklyn will get the services they've needed and deserve. I commend Governor Cuomo for investing in the neighborhoods of Brooklyn to support our mutual goals of supplying affordable housing and preserving communities."