Cuomo Taps $$$ for Central Brooklyn Reno

Governor Cuomo last week announced a plan for a major infusion of money–$1.4 billion–into central Brooklyn, with the main focus to be in poverty-afflicted areas like Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Crown Heights, and East New York.

Thank you, governor.

Of course, at this point, the plan, called Vital Brooklyn, is just that–a plan. The governor hopes to have the money allocated in his next budget, but that will mean convincing majorities in the Assembly and Senate to go along with him, never a sure thing when it means spending money.

According to an article about the plan in The New York Times, fully half the allotment, $700 million, would be used to fund initiatives related to health care, generally a huge problem for residents in the targeted area. Other monies would address neighborhood quality-of-life issues such as crime and violence, unemployment, and a lack of green space, “aiming to eliminate so-called park deserts by building green spaces and renovating athletic facilities within a 10-minute walk of every neighborhood.” It’s estimated that 7,600 jobs would be created, a network of 36 ambulatory care centers would be built, and 1,200 people would receive training to work in the construction industry. An additional $1.2 million would be used for youth development programs.

The Times article reports that the plan received positive initial responses from various experts in the fight against poverty, though some warned that, for continued success, any programs established or supported through Vital Brooklyn would need ongoing funding to maintain their level of activities.

Another piece of Vital Brooklyn includes the construction of 3,000 units of affordable housing in the area. While decent affordable housing is a noble idea, some current residents are wary of the plan, feeling that the new housing and all the upgrades in parkland could make the area more attractive to real estate developers, eventually pushing housing prices in the newly improved neighborhoods beyond their means. Residents will be happy for any improvement, but not if it eventually costs them their homes and their place in the neighborhood.

As mentioned above, the money for the plan will be included in the governor’s budget this year; whether or not it stays in will be up to state lawmakers.

To read the entire Times article, click here.

You Get What You Pay For; Should We Say It?

Brooklyn is considered by many to be the best place in the world to live. You may think that all those “many” people live here in the world capital of cool already, but the fact is, demand for homes of all sorts has been high for many years, and it’s all those buyers banging on Brooklyn’s door that have pushed prices to record highs and made Brooklyn New York City’s most expensive outer borough in which to buy a house.

According to NY Real Estate Trends, (www.nyrealestatetrends.com) Brooklyn has led the city in average sales price for the past twenty years, but in the last ten years the price differential between a home in Brooklyn and those in the other outer boroughs has increased dramatically. In 1995 Brooklyn was already the most expensive of the four outer boroughs, but by just a few percentage points. In 2005, Brooklyn remained ahead of the pack, but only by about 10% over Queens. By 2015, however, Brooklyn led Queens, its nearest competitor, in average price for a single-family home by 48.3%: Brooklyn’s average price was $838,977 vs. Queens’ $565,656, according to the NY Real Estate Trends data.

We get it. We know that living in Brooklyn is five or ten times as great as living in Queens or Staten Island, so in our mind, paying only 50% more for a house is a bargain! Buy in Brooklyn and you’ll get much, much  more than you paid for.