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Bushwick Workshop to Map Where Affordable Housing Could Go

By Serena Dai | September 25, 2014 8:58am | Updated on September 26, 2014 1:22pm
 A workshop on Sunday aims to build a snapshot of the state of Bushwick housing.
A workshop on Sunday aims to build a snapshot of the state of Bushwick housing.
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BUSHWICK — A community workshop aims to be a neighborhood walking tour with a purpose — showing where affordable housing could be built.

The Right to Housing Workshop on Sunday will involve residents and community members who want to learn more about the current state of housing in Bushwick, said Brigette Blood of the North West Bushwick Community Group, an activist organization that's hosting the event with The New School, St. Joseph's Church and performance venue Silent Barn.

Locals are encouraged to join a walk around the neighborhood to mark where new developments, vacant lots and vacant properties exist.

One goal of the mapping exercise is to get a sense of what properties might be vulnerable to for-profit development — and which ones could be used for affordable housing, Blood said.

"It's an opportunity to think about the ways our community is changing and the way land is being used," she said.

The workshop will launch from St. Joseph's Church at 1080 Willoughby Ave. at 10 a.m. People will be divided into groups to canvass the neighborhood, with the support of The New School students and a structured mapping system.

Attendees will also be given a 48-page gazette made by The New School that offers information on housing policy at a workshop between 2 and 4:30 p.m.

Another set of walkers and mappers will leave from the church at 4:30 p.m., allowing people to stop at different points.

The day will end with an open house and party at Silent Barn at 603 Bushwick Ave.

The goal is to inform other neighborhood efforts, including Councilmen Antonio Reynoso and Rafeal Espinal's plan for community rezoning and North West Bushwick Community Group's mapping tools, Blood added.

Armed with information, residents may be able to take further action to prevent being displaced, such as talking to an attorney or reaching out to local elected officials, Blood said.

A map of the neighborhood may not be able to tell the future, she said, but it can help those areas open to real estate development.

"It can show patterns," she said.