Brownsville residents worry Cuomo’s $1.4B plan may do more harm than good

Gov. wants to increase healthcare, housing spending in low-income Brooklyn neighborhoods

Brownsville projects and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)
Brownsville projects and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

Some Brownsville residents are skeptical of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to pump $1.4 billion into Brooklyn low-income neighborhoods, fearing it will encourage gentrification and displacement.

“They’ll take this right here,” local resident Dayon Hopkins told the New York Times, pointing at a building, “and put a glass door, a brick wall on one side of the hallway, and now it’s a loft” he said. “And now it costs way more than people are making around these parts.”

“And I understand: It does get nicer. But where’s everybody else going to go? Down south? Where are we going to go?”

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Last week Cuomo announced a plan to increase spending on healthcare in poorer Brooklyn neighborhoods, which he claimed will create 7,600 jobs in high unemployment areas. The plan also calls for 3,000 new affordable housing units and more green spaces.

But Brownsville resident Jasamine Vieira questioned the timing of the proposal. “Why now? You had all these times to make these changes, now Brooklyn is a hot spot — everyone wants a piece of it,” she said. “If you want to make it better for the community, why 2017? The community has been the way it has been since the ’70s.”

Locals have made similar arguments pointed at the de Blasio administration’s rezoning of nearby East New York, which was designed to increase the housing stock but also triggered gentrification anxieties.  [NYT]Konrad Putzier