In the late 1980s, the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Southwest Bronx consisted of burned-out, boarded-up shells of buildings with little sign of life. Today, we have thriving apartment buildings and public spaces with children and families strolling to and from school, and elders sitting out in front of their homes. The progress is no accident. It is the result of over 30 years of diligent commitment by New Settlement and its parent organization, Settlement Housing Fund (SHF), to rebuild a devastated neighborhood.
SHF’s original acquisition from the City included 14 buildings with 893 units. Now, SHF owns 19 buildings with 1,140 units. The ‘cluster site’ properties that we are managing and will acquire will add another four buildings and additional units to the New Settlement portfolio.
Historically, although there was on-site property management in place, Settlement Housing Fund maintained oversight of that function and oversaw the leasing of the original buildings. New Settlement, as a separate entity, grew out of the need to launch the programming and to provide on-site housing management support.
These programs include our Program for Girls and Young Women; Bronx Helpers; College Access Center; two youth workforce development programs, the Young Adult Opportunity Initiative and YouthBuild; after-school programs; health and nutrition programs; and two community organizing initiatives, Community Action for Safe Apartments (CASA) and the Parent Action Committee.
In 2012, the New Settlement Community Center opened its doors on Jerome Avenue – a state-of-the-art facility with an aquatics center, rooftop garden, dance studio and community program space. New Settlement collaborated with the NYC School Construction Authority, the NYC Department of Education and SHF to develop the 172,000-square-foot campus that also includes new pre-K through 12th grade public schools, addressing both the need to alleviate overcrowded schools and the need for space to accommodate expansion and enhancement of our community programs. Today, the Community Center serves more than 10,000 members and participants, and is an anchor in our efforts to build health and wellness programming for youth and families in the Bronx.