One of the many reasons our country has an overarching federal government is so that citizens have access to federal programs designed to advance and assist society. New York City is a place of opportunity, but it’s also a place where living costs are expensive and poverty is common. Now, the New York City Housing Authority is working to make a positive impact on everyday citizens by using a federal grant to revitalize the Mott Haven community.
Mott Haven is home to over 46,000 people, 80 public housing buildings, and five developments. Over half of the 17,000 residents living in public housing fall below the poverty line. The neighborhood is in need of an update, and NYCHA plans on installing a full set of them: security cameras, playgrounds, grocery stores, health clinics, job trainings and more.
The two-year grant was awarded in fall 2012 and will provide $300,000 for the completion of the project, which is being coordinated by Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Through its implementation, NYCHA and LISC hope to improve housing, schools, parks, public safety, the local economy, and the community at large.
“This is an incredible opportunity for NYCHA to make a tangible difference in the quality of life of many of the residents of Betances Houses and the Mott Haven community in general,” said John Rhea, NYCHA Chairman.
“We recognize that a major transformation is needed in this neighborhood and with these funds we are better equipped to work with local stakeholders—public and private—to develop and invest in a comprehensive transformation plan that will address the needs of this distressed public housing development and surrounding community, and in effect create a ‘choice neighborhood.’”
Mott Haven is just one of many examples of public spaces in need of updates and attention. All over the country, in cities large and small, there are projects needing to be completed. Individuals and businesses only provide so much of the funding, and when that is not enough, federal grants can sometimes provide the missing puzzle piece.