Cuomo Unveils $1.4 Billion Initiative For Central Brooklyn

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With more bells and whistles than a marching band at a train depot, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $1.4 billion initiative that will address the chronic disparities, like systemic violence and entrenched poverty in such Central Brooklyn neighborhoods as Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Brownsville and East New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo announced the initiative at Medgar Evers College in Crown Heights among too many Brooklyn lawmakers to mention, academics and 1199 union members.

Dubbed Vital Brooklyn, the initiative will take a holistic approach in breaking down barriers of health and well-being through eight integrated areas of investment:

  • Open Space and Recreation
  • Healthy Food
  • Community-Based Healthcare
  • Comprehensive Education and Youth Development
  • Economic Empowerment and Job Creation
  • Community-Based Violence Prevention
  • Affordable Housing; and
  • Resiliency

“For too long investment in underserved communities has lacked the strategy necessary to end systemic social and economic disparity, but in Central Brooklyn those failed approaches stop today,” Cuomo said. “Every New Yorker deserves to live in a safe neighborhood with access to jobs, healthcare, affordable housing, green spaces, and healthy food but you can’t address one of these without addressing them all.”

Social and economic indicators show that Central Brooklyn is one of the most disadvantaged areas in the 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.   

The $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn initiative deploys state resources in a strategic, coordinated fashion to create a healthier, more vibrant community.  For more information, click here.

Funding is reflected in the FY 2018 Executive Budget with the components funded as follows:

Open Space & Recreation $140 million
Healthy Food $325,000
Comprehensive Education & Youth Development $1.2 million
Economic Empowerment & Job Creation $692,000
Community-Based Violence Prevention $800,000
Community-Based Healthcare $700 million capital investment
Affordable Housing $563 million
Resiliency $23 million