Blueprint for a Neighborhood of Opportunity: The Bronx's Washington Avenue
Previously, Morrisania was a large section of underutilized land in the South Bronx. Residents of this New York neighborhood have some of the lowest incomes in the city. Although the median income for residents is slightly over $20,000, families still face the threat of rising rents. Many families spend more than half of their income on rent leaving less to spend on the basics - food, healthcare and their children's future. This high cost of housing leaves many residents homeless which destroys the community network and depletes the neighborhood of its social capital.
Through investment by Enterprise and partner BronxPro the neighborhood is undergoing a transformation, sparked in part by the renovation of 1085 Washington Ave. This newly renovated building features 90 affordable homes, an abundance of green features, including Energy Star-rated appliances and a roof made of recycled content. A critical part of this project is an additional partnership with DreamYard, an innovative Bronx nonprofit that engages the borough's youth through arts education. The organization's DreamYard Art Center is now located in the building's basement. The art center draws neighborhood youth which has begun restoring some of the community connections that had disappeared with rising rents and unemployment.