Re-open the Gowanus Houses Community Center!

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As massive public and private investments in the Gowanus neighborhood are underway the Gowanus Neighborhood Coalition for Justice (GNCJ) is calling on the City of New York to Reopen the Gowanus Houses Community Center. 

One year ago, in Oct. 2017, Mayor de Blasio publicly committed to Gowanus Brooklyn public housing residents his promise to re-open the Gowanus Houses Community Center - elevating our community hope that the next generation of residents in Gowanus would benefit from access to opportunities previously denied. As we mark the 1 year anniversary of this renewed promise - the quagmire of bureaucracy continues while the price tag for repairs grows ever steeper - ballooning to an estimated $4 Million!

We say enough is enough and we are reopening this petition until the mayor presents his promise with a blueprint and timeline prioritizing the re-opening of this center! We’re demanding this public commitment be met with the action needed to provide a fully operational and renovated Gowanus Houses Community Center to the local residents of public housing and the Gowanus community.

The Gowanus Community Center has been closed for over a decade, depriving the residents of one of New York’s largest public housing developments a place to come together for artistic, educational, and vocational activities. Before its closing, the center was a positive force in the neighborhood, providing engaging and productive programming. The center even played a vital role during Superstorm Sandy relief efforts, when it was temporarily reopened to provide goods and services for Gowanus Houses residents impacted by the Superstorm. In the 2013 - 2014 Participatory Budgeting cycle, the community rallied together to advocate for funding to fix the physical building which had fallen into disrepair and successfully won $475,000 through Participatory Budgeting, yet the funded repairs have not been contracted due to a lack of a DYCD cornerstone operator, causing a catch-22 situation.

In addition, the center has been temporarily and partially opened to develop and rehearse a live performance through Making Gowanus, a resident and community led artistic and cultural collaborative galvanized by the recently released CreateNYC Cultural Plan, which calls for support for historically underserved communities and recognizes the social impact of arts and culture as essential components of thriving, healthy communities. A video on Making Gowanus and the call to re-open the Gowanus Houses Community Center can be seen here:

With all this in mind it's about time for the City of NY to take action, and put a plan to this promise. Please tell the City of New York not to let another Gowanus generation grow up without their Community Center. Reopen the Gowanus Houses Community Center now!