Housing projects known for the drug trade are changing

In Cypress Hills, they call it the "Big Take Down." In Red Hook, major raids in 2006 based on a similar strategy altered local youth perceptions about crime (see 4/6/08, below).

As a follow-up to their feature article last week, In Ambitious Assault on Brooklyn Drug Trade, Limited Victory, the New York Times published a companion piece this week profiling daily life for residents of Cypress Hills - teenagers, retirees, and the informal "town mayor." Like the rest of New York City, the big public housing projects are safer than they used to be. One member of our Community Advisory Board, a tenant leader in her Soundview projects, told me that NYCHA and residents have worked together to improve conditions, and much of the Bronx's public housing, like other once notorious neighborhoods, now takes its community identity more from middle-class wage earners and retirees than from the drug trade.


According to a survey of youth attitudes in the Red Hook Houses conducted by researchers at the Red Hook Community Justice Center, resident's self-perception is that their projects aren't as "hard" as they used to be, since major drug raids in 2006 took down the large gangs.

In May 2006, 143 individuals were in arrested in Red Hook as part of an ambitious prosecution strategy to build cases through the use of conspiracy charges and take down entire operations in large coordinated raids. The New York Times has an informative feature article today on the outcome of a series of raids at sprawling public housing projects such as Cypress Hills (see chart below), Ocean Towers, Vanderveer Estates, Ingersoll Houses, and the Red Hook Houses: In Ambitious Assault on Brooklyn Drug Trade, Limited Victory

(Double click on graphic to enlarge in separate window)