If you had walked through the Mount Eden neighborhood of The Bronx in the late 1980’s, you would have seen burned-out, boarded up shells of buildings with little sign of life. Today, you will see thriving apartment buildings 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 more than 27 years of diligent commitment by New Settlement Apartments to rebuild a devastated neighborhood. New Settlement’s own gut-renovated and new buildings have served as an anchor for other redevelopment in the neighborhood–a neighborhood that, since 1989, has had a population increase of more than 4,500.
Created by our parent organization, Settlement Housing Fund , New Settlement Apartments began in 1989 with the acquisition of 14 abandoned buildings. Subsequently, New Settlement has expanded to 18 buildings, 2 of which are newly constructed, and together we are home to 1,082 families–30% of whom are formerly homeless. Recognizing from the outset that a community is not made simply of bricks and mortar, NSA launched a range of community-based services in health education, youth development, arts, workforce development and other key services that provide important resources to the neighborhood’s youth and families.
New Settlement’s success in neighborhood revitalization and community building has been achieved through close collaboration with a wide range of educational institutions, housing and community development organizations, businesses, youth development and social service agencies — in the neighborhood, Bronx-wide, across New York and nationally. The programs at New Settlement are supported by local, state and federal government agencies, as well as foundations, corporations and individuals.
Recently, New Settlement collaborated with the NYC School Construction Authority, the 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, and 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.