City to Fund Renovation of Two Community Centers in Brooklyn

Council Speaker Corey Johnson speaking at Center for CityLaw Breakfast at New York Law School. Image Credit: CityLaw.

The renovated community centers will provide after-school activities, arts programming, and job skills training. On July 11, 2019, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Committee on General Welfare Chair Stephen Levin, Committee on Public Housing Chair Alicka Ampry-Samuel, and Council Member Brad Lander announced that the City’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes funding to reopen the Gowanus Houses Community Center. Speaker Johnson and Council Member Levin also unveiled capital funding in Fiscal Year 2020 budget for the expansion and renovation of the NYCHA Wyckoff Gardens Community Center.

For the past 14 years, the Gowanus Center has been closed and it only provided limited senior service programming. The current plan is to fully renovate the Center so that it can provide residents of the Gowanus Houses with a diverse set of cultural and educational initiatives, as well as with youth programming that would be organized by the Department of Youth and Community Development Cornerstone Program. The reopening and renovation efforts were made possible in part thanks to the City Council’s allocation of $947,000 in budget funds, but also thanks to Council Member Levin’s previous allocation of $475,000 for the renovation project through Participatory Budgeting in 2014. The de Blasio administration also made a financial commitment to the project totaling $3.5 million through NYCHA funding.

Wyckoff Gardens Community Center is being renovated through $2.5 million in Council funding for FY20, which is in addition to $2.4 million previously allocated to the Center and surrounding area. The Wyckoff Gardens Houses Community Center currently offers after-school youth programming and senior services. Once the renovations are completed, the space will have a new kitchen and classrooms for further skills and job training.

Council Speaker Corey Johnson stated, “These community centers are not only vital for NYCHA residents, but also for the entire neighborhood. These spaces are places where neighbors meet to socialize, to participate in cultural and educational activities, and to share their experiences.”

Council Member Stephen Levin said, “Community centers are a critical resource for young and old alike and provide after-school activities, arts programming, and job skills training. At Wyckoff, we will be adding classrooms and a new kitchen, and Gowanus will finally have an updated and modernized center that is able to serve a new generation. None of this would have been possible without the leadership and tireless advocacy of the community.”

“The expansion of the Wyckoff Gardens Community Center and the renovation and permanent reopening of the Gowanus Community Center will bring new opportunities for young people to socialize, learn and gain skills, and bring back long over-due services that the community deserves,” said Council Member Brad Lander.

NYCHA General Manager Vito Mustaciuolo, DYCD Commissioner Bill Chong, Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez, and State Senator Velmanette Montgomery also expressed their support for the projects.


By: Filip Cukovic (Filip is a CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2021).


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