If you had walked through the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Southwest Bronx in the late 1980s, you would have seen burned-out, boarded-up shells of buildings with little sign of life. Today, you will see 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 difference is no accident. It is the result of over 30 years of diligent commitment by New Settlement and its parent organization, Settlement Housing Fund, to rebuild a devastated neighborhood.
Settlement Housing Fund’s original acquisition of the rehabilitated property from the City included 14 buildings with 893 units. Since then, through additional acquisitions and new developments, the total number of buildings SHF owns is now 19 buildings with 1,140 units. The ‘cluster site’ properties that we are managing and will acquire will add another 4 buildings and additional units to the New Settlement Apartments portfolio.
Historically, although there was on-site property management in place, Settlement Housing Fund maintained oversight of that function. Settlement Housing Fund also oversaw the leasing of the original buildings, and 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 (a 2020 awardee of the College Completion Innovation Fund); two youth workforce development programs, the Young Adult Opportunity Initiative and YouthBuild; after school programs for 800 local children; and health and nutrition programs. We have two community organizing initiatives—CASA (safe housing) and the Parent Action Committee (safe schools).
Opened in 2012, the New Settlement Community Campus is a state-of-the-art facility on Jerome Avenue with an aquatics center, rooftop garden, dance studio and community program space. The Community Campus is an anchor in our efforts to build health and wellness programming for our youth and families.
Recently, New Settlement collaborated with the NYC School Construction Authority, the NYC Department of Education and Settlement Housing Fund to develop a 172,000 sq. ft. facility that includes new pre-K through 12th grade public schools and a community center with an indoor swimming pool, dance studios, multipurpose rooms, art gallery space, an outdoor amphitheater and rooftop garden terrace. This innovative, state-of-the-art Community Campus addresses both the need to alleviate overcrowded schools and the need for space to accommodate expansion and enhancement of New Settlement’s community programs for youth and families. The New Settlement Community Campus opened in September 2012 and serves more than 10,000 members and participants, including students from numerous public schools in the Bronx.