New Settlement Apartments

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Contact Information:

1512 Townsend Ave.
Bronx, NY 10452 (Jack Doyle)

Borough(s):

Bronx

Age Groups:

5-11, 11-14, 14-18, 19+

History and structure: Opened in 1990, New Settlement Apartments is an economically integrated and ethnically diverse housing development of 995 families, 30% of whom are formerly homeless. Composed of 15 fully renovated, previously abandoned buildings and one newly constructed building within an eight-square-block area of the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Southwest Bronx, New Settlement also has a 20-year track record in youth development, neighborhood revitalization and community organizing, including working toward educational excellence in local public schools.

Mission and philosophy: An integral part of New Settlement’s progressive housing philosophy is that “housing is not just bricks and mortar.” Thus, New Settlement’s mission is not only to rebuild and maintain in excellent condition a sizeable portion of the housing stock in its impoverished neighborhood, but also to support the rebuilding of the social capital of the surrounding community.

New Settlement’s primary constituencies are low-income Latina/o and Black youth and adults, including many new immigrants from Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean, who live in the Southwest Bronx neighborhood of Mt. Eden, where our apartment buildings are located, and in nearby Mt. Hope, Highbridge and surrounding communities.

Overview of New Settlement’s community programs: New Settlement’s extensive year-round community services and educational programs served approx. 4,700 people in 2009 — 3,700 children and teens and 1,400 adults and elders. Programs are staffed by 108 professionals; structured in direct response to the interests of neighborhood residents; enriched by partnerships with diverse educational, cultural and social service organizations; and centered in 17,000 sq. ft. of well-maintained, accessible community spaces in our residential buildings, in our outdoor Tot Lot (for children under age 9) of 9,000 square feet., at the new outdoor Community PlayPark at PS64, and in neighborhood public schools. Despite steady growth, most programs maintain year-round waiting lists.

Programs for youth and adults in 2011 include two after-school programs serving 430 children daily; three summer day camps for children and one for teens, serving 400+ daily; the College Access Center, serving 1,200 teens and parents, including 250 positioned to enter college each fall with financial aid; the Young Adult Outreach Initiative, positioning 250 youth who are out-of-school and unemployed back on track to complete their education, go to college and get a job; and diverse teen programs involving several hundred middle- and high-school youth — focused on community service, leadership development, visual and performing arts and recreation.

For adults, we offer on-site Adult Education, ESOL and GED through NYC Department of Education; our Parent Action Committee supports parent and community organizing toward education reform; CASA, our housing-organizing initiative, supports tenant rights in the Southwest Bronx. 

Raising the bar: Just as New Settlement has raised the bar in its neighborhood since 1990 on standards for clean, safe streets and well-maintained, affordable housing, it has also built a sense of shared community through diverse programs and organizing initiatives.  As a result, we have also gained the trust of young people and adults now finding a collective voice to claim their rights to a healthy environment in which to live, study, grow and work.  With each new initiative, we confirm our commitment to supporting the positive development of children and youth in this community — as healthy individuals and productive community members who understand their rights and believe in their own capacity to make progressive social change now and in the future.