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The Bedford-Church project, announced in October 2020 by Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Mathieu Eugene, will transform a City-owned site in Flatbush, Brooklyn, into much-needed affordable homes and youth-focused programming.

The Flatbush African Burial Ground Remembrance and Redevelopment Task Force is leading an effort to build community-based recommendations on how to honor the African burial ground and serve the neighborhood with 100% affordable housing, youth-programming, and other neighborhood amenities. The Task Force is co-chaired by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Council Member Eugene and is made up of members selected for their expertise across sectors integral to the neighborhood—history, housing, clergy, community development, libraries, schools, business improvement districts, youth and cultural organizations.

Task Force Members

  • Eric Adams, Brooklyn Borough President (Co-Chair)
  • Mathieu Eugene, District 40 Council Member (Co-Chair)
  • Ryan Lynch, Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
  • Eileen Newman, Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams
  • Roslyn Joinvil, Office of District 40 Council Member
  • Shawn Campbell, Community Board 14
  • Carol Reneau, Community Board 17
  • Reverend De Lafayette Awkward, Flatbush Reformed Church
  • Samantha Bernardine, Erasmus Hall High School for Youth and Community Development
  • Lauren Collins, Flatbush Ave. BID & Church Avenue BID
  • Kathy De Meij, CAMBA
  • Chantal Eugene Desdunes, Erasmus Hall High School for Youth and Community Development
  • Natiba Guy-Clement, Center for Brooklyn History at Brooklyn Public Library
  • Reverend Sheldon N.N. Hamblin, St. Paul's Church in the Village of Flatbush
  • Tyrone McDonald, Neighborhood Housing Services of Brooklyn CDC Inc. (NHS Brooklyn)
  • Naima Oyo, Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy
  • Robin Redmond, Flatbush Development Corporation
  • Ron Schweiger, Brooklyn Borough Historian
  • Dr. Ben Talton, Author and Professor of African History from Temple University
By the Numbers

100%

of housing will be affordable.

The future affordable housing project and memorial will honor and raise awareness of the history of the site and the enslaved and free Africans of early Flatbush. Historical documentation and archaeological testing, which discovered fragments of human remains, confirm that a burial ground for people of African ancestry once existed adjacent to and on a portion of the site.

Read more about the history of the site.

Honoring this history while providing affordable housing on this site will contribute to the citywide goal to increase the availability of affordable housing options for all New Yorkers, including for the many rent-burdened households in the Flatbush area. As such, we are excited that this project will bring permanent, high-quality affordable housing and other neighborhood amenities to the Flatbush area. 

Learn more about affordable housing and this project by reviewing the presentation and materials discussed in Task Force meeting #4 and community workshop #2.

Site Quick Facts

  1. A 29,000-SF, City-owned site
  2. Located at 2286 Church Avenue, at the corner of Bedford and Church Avenues, where a burial ground for people of African ancestry once existed adjacent to and on a portion of the site
  3. Former site of landmarked PS 90 school building, demolished in 2015 due to hazardous conditions

The Task Force Process

Through mid-2021, the Flatbush African Burial Ground Remembrance and Redevelopment Task Force will meet almost monthly—approximately seven times in total—to lead the discussion and guide the development of recommendations with the larger public on critical aspects of the project, including the respectful treatment of human remains, if discovered in the future, on and/or off-site memorialization, the future housing project and program, and broader community engagement. This collaboration will ultimately result in a set of recommendations to be summarized in a Report that will be included in the Request for Proposals (RFP) for affordable housing to be issued by HPD in fall 2021.

The Development Process

On January 6, 2021, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to establish a group of development teams qualified to apply for a Request for Proposals (RFP) anticipated to be released in fall 2021.

PS 90 - Bedford and Church Avenues, 2007
Public School 90, taken in 2007. The building was designated as a New York City Landmark in 2007, but unfortunately was demolished in 2015 due to hazardous structural conditions.

Timeline

  • October 2020: City announces project
  • December 2020: Task Force meetings begin
  • January 2021: HPD releases affordable housing Request for Qualifications (RFQ)
  • May-June 2021: Community workshops
  • Mid-2021: Recommendations from community workshops and Task Force compiled into Report
  • September 2021: Task Force meetings end
  • Fall 2021: HPD to release Request for Proposals (RFP) to development teams

Learn more about meetings and events.

The Project Team

The project team is a cross-agency and cross-sector collaboration to support the success of the Task Force and ensure that community voices shape future recommendations for an affordable housing–based RFP process.

The team includes the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), which is issuing public procurement for the future affordable housing project; New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), which is facilitating the Task Force engagement process and archaeological and descendant research; the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), which is providing archaeological technical expertise, and two local Women Business Enterprise (WBE) firms—Historical Perspectives, Inc. (HPI) and TYTHEdesign—that are providing archaeological and community engagement services, respectively. HPI’s archaeology and descendant community research report was completed in July 2021 and is available on LPC’s website and on the Site History page.

PS 90 Task Force

 

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