Across New York City, concern over gentrification is sharp and contentious. The Capstone team was tasked to assess how low-income women and families in the target neighborhoods of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brownsville, Bushwick, and East New York can benefit from the byproducts of gentrification while avoiding its negative consequences. The study consisted of a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, including interviews, a literature review, landscape analysis, public data set analysis, and stakeholder analysis.
The goal was to generate a comprehensive snapshot of the current impact of gentrification in the target neighborhoods and a power map of the stakeholders and entities with the capacity and motivation to create change around this issue. The team found that for the factors of displacement, housing, wages, and job opportunities, civic engagement, health, public safety, and neighborhood amenities and investment, women and families in the target neighborhoods were disproportionately impacted by the negative consequences of gentrification. Repeatedly, legacy residents reported being excluded from the planning and political discourse over how to effect positive neighborhood change. The team also concluded that the coronavirus pandemic is now and will continue to disproportionately hurt women and families in the target neighborhoods, particularly people of color, and particularly those who were already struggling with economic and housing insecurity. The report’s recommendations are guided by these conclusions and highlighted eight areas the NYWF can use to guide their grantmaking strategy for their Brooklyn Economic Justice Project.