NEW YORK - New York's governor is proposing an ambitious $1.4 billion plan to address chronic problems in central Brooklyn.
Governor Andrew Cuomo detailed the proposal Thursday at Medgar Evers College.
Called "Vital Brooklyn," the plan includes investments in health care services, affordable housing and recreation along with funding to address violence and malnutrition.
"We want to take what we know needs to be done, and we want to provide those resources for the communities in central Brooklyn to be in a position to help themselves," Governor Cuomo said.
One of the most important elements the governor sees is job training and the creation of more jobs.
"If a young person doesn't have that job at the end and doesn't have the skills and doesn't have the alternative then no good is going to happen," Governor Cuomo said.
"Vital Brooklyn" calls for providing resources so the communities can design programs to fill in the gaps in health care services and healthy living.
"By strengthening the local hospitals that exist and increasing access to quality services," said Alphonso Camara, Governor's counsel.
The plan also includes providing open space and recreation and tools for wellness.
"We first have to eliminate central Brooklyn's park deserts by building athletic facilities," Camara said.
Providing affordable housing is another key component of "Vital Brooklyn." For many residents, 50% of income is spent on rent.
Specifically, the plan calls for 3,000 new multi-family units, $700 million for community health care clinics and programs, five acres of new recreation space and programs to help young people stay out of trouble and learn job skills.
The plan now goes to lawmakers, who hope to approve a state budget by April 1.
(Some information from the Associated Press)