Blueprint for a Neighborhood of Opportunity

Morrisania used to be a large swath of underutilized land. Residents of this South Bronx neighborhood have some of the lowest incomes in the city – the median income is just over $20,000. This hasn’t insulated residents from the city’s trend of rising rents. Many local families now have less than half their income to spend on food, healthcare and their children’s future. Even worse, the local rent burden leaves many residents homeless, destroying community networks while depleting the neighborhood of its social capital.

Thanks to Enterprise and our partner BronxPro the neighborhood is undergoing a transformation, sparked in part by the renovation of 1085 Washington Ave. This renovated building features 90 affordable apartments, an abundance of green features, including Energy Star-rated appliances and a roof made of recycled content. What seems to be the most critical part of this collaboration is an additional partnership with DreamYard, an innovative Bronx nonprofit that engages the borough’s youth through arts education, resulted in the creation of the DreamYard Art Center in the basement of the building. The Art Center brings youth from all over the neighborhood to the building and has begun to restore some of the community connections that had disappeared with rising rents and unemployment.

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