This research explores the forces, politics, and agents that once shaped the community organizing and neighborhood development efforts led by the Brown and Black communities that repopulated and revived neighborhoods abandoned by both the middle-class and public officials in New
Women, Care, and Housing: Envisioning New Housing Cooperative Models for Sunset Park’s Immigrant Communities initiated in the fall of 2018 as part of Design and Urban Ecologies Studio 1. Students worked closely with Beyond Care, a worker cooperative led by immigrant women providing childcare services in Brooklyn, which became a partner during the previous semester. As part of this project, a number of workshops, working sessions, and discussions around housing cooperatives and Community Land Trusts were organized in collaboration with Beyond Care members to work toward the design of a new model of housing cooperative for their families.
United for Housing is a collaborative project developed by first-year students from the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program, the Community Development Finance Lab, and United Families of Sunset Park, a group of over 15 families who are organizing to establish a housing cooperative in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. The project involves the co-production of educational and organizing tools to advance the efforts of the group, the design of methodologies to identify potential properties for the project in the neighborhood, and the development of scenarios to create a cooperative housing considering local assets and available public programs and funds.
This project was developed by first-year students from the MS Design and Urban Ecologies program from 2013 to 2015 in Bushwick. This woking-class neighborhood has been one of the most contested areas of North Brooklyn in recent years. Rezoning processes and profit-driven developments have made residents and local groups question the goals and outcomes of current housing policies and urban practices taking place in the city. Displacement in the name of development has become a policy.
This ongoing multi-year project focuses on Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. This immigrant neighborhood has become the next frontier of development with the revitalization of its industrial waterfront. Public and private investment along the waterfront has skyrocketed the neighborhoods’ housing prices in recent years. This and the fact that public funds have not been distributed to other parts of the neighborhood to benefit the existing communities have turned Sunset Park in a space of resistance. Sunset Park’s numerous grassroots groups and militant community organizations are fighting against the ongoing gentrification and displacement. They are making clear their neighborhood is not for sale.