Breukelen Houses

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Coordinates: 40°39′04″N 73°53′38″W / 40.651°N 73.894°W / 40.651; -73.894 Breukelen Houses (pronounced brook-line), also known as Breukelen or Brookline Projects, is a large housing complex maintained in Canarsie, Brooklyn, by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

Its main office is located at 618 East 108th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11236. It is bounded by Flatlands Avenue, East 103rd Street, Williams Avenue and Stanley Avenue. The community sits on 64.98 acres (26.30 ha) and consists of 1,595 apartment units inside 30 structures, all of which are either three or seven stories high. As of March 2008 the population was estimated to be 4,038.The development was completed October 31, 1952.[1]

History[edit]

Breukelen gets its name from the Dutch in 1683, when present-day Brooklyn was known as Breukelen. It later changed to Brockland, Brocklin, Brookline, and finally Brooklyn.[2] The housing project borders the community of Flatlands to the southeast, which the Dutch originally called Nieuw Amersfoort. It, along with the towns of New Lots, Flatbush, and Gravesend, were annexed by the city of Brooklyn between 1886 and 1896.[3]

In 2001 the New York City Housing Authority authorized $4.5 million in upgrades to Breukelen Houses.[4] Residents enjoyed new fencing, walkways, shrubbery, playgrounds, and updated lighting. In February 2007 the Breukelen Community Center opened its doors to the homeless as one of nine winter emergency “warming spots” in the city.[5]

NYCHA's funding problems[edit]

Officials of the NYCHA claim their woes are due to “chronic federal under-funding”.[6] As a result, in recent years many residents within the Breukelen community have expressed fears of mass privatization and pending rent hikes. As of June 2007 the NYCHA held a deficit of over $200 million with little to no fiscal help from Albany (state capital) or Washington in sight. Additionally, the NYCHA has lost $999 million between 2001 and 2008.[6] In spite of it financial insufficiency, the NYCHA is not going to privatize housing. Instead they're selling surplus NYCHA land to the city's housing agency to develop affordable housing.[7] They’ve also made staff and expense cuts and have more impending employee cutbacks in the works.

Nevertheless, Julia Vitullo-Martin[7] purports that a potential buyer offered up $1.3 billion for an area of public housing in East New York that might encompass some or all of Breukelen Houses. Furthermore, Mayor Bloomberg stated on a radio show in 2007 that public housing has to pay for itself. With the NYCHA’s perpetual debt and with pressures from private, city, state, and federal departments, privatization may in fact be in Breukelen’s future.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NYCHA Housing Developments". New York City Housing Authority. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  2. ^ Ellis, Edward Robb (1966). The Epic of New York City. Old Town Books. p. 53. 
  3. ^ Frisbie, Richard (1996). "Early Five Boroughs History: Coming of the Dutch". Hope Farm Press. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  4. ^ "Bruekelen Houses to get $4.5M in improvements". Canarsie Courier . 2001. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  5. ^ New York City. Homepage (2007). News From the Blue Room. Accessed March 13th 2008 from http://www.nyc.gov
  6. ^ a b Elliot, Eileen (2008). "NYCHA Adopts Preliminary Budget For 2008" (PDF). New York City Housing Authority Journal. Retrieved 2008-05-15. 
  7. ^ a b Vitullo-Martin, Julia (2007-06-07). "Turning a Profit for the Projects". New York Post. Retrieved 2008-05-15.