Ocean Parkway Community Development Corporation
The Ocean Parkway Community Development Corporation (OPCDC) is a grass-roots, multi-ethnic, not-for-profit organization, incorporated in 1979, to address the deterioration of housing in Kensington and along the Ocean Parkway corridor, in Brooklyn, N.Y. The corporation has been determined by the IRS to have met requirements to qualify for 501 (c) 3 tax exempt status. A diverse group of professionals and business people came together to create an agency which would focus on neighborhood stabilization, revitalization and improvement, through various housing related activities. These goals are clearly expressed in OPCDC’s mission statement, which states the purpose of the agency being:
To aid in the development, rehabilitation and preservation of local housing and make same available to low moderate income families;
To offer services that support the physical, emotional and practical needs of individuals residing within the projects sponsored by the organization and/or in the neighborhood it serves.
COMMUNITY DEMOGRAPHICS AND GEOGRAPHY
OPCDC’s catchment area, which includes the area in Brooklyn from the beginning of the wide and majestic Ocean Parkway to the north, southward to Avenue H, and from MacDonald Avenue on the west to Coney Island Avenue in the east, consists of a very diverse population and housing stock. From the west, the primarily Chassidic and Orthodox Jewish population of Borough Park is expanding into the community. On the east, there is a rapidly growing Pakistani and Bangladeshi community, which was largely unaccounted for in the year 2000 census data. In the mid-to-late 80’s, the northern part of the area experienced an influx of former “yuppies,” who bought co-ops and condominiums as an alternative to the once much higher prices of Manhattan real estate.
Approximately 46.7% of the population is foreign born, and 48.3% of the neighborhood population is white. At the same time, there has been a growing Hispanic/Latino population which comprises 18.8% of the neighborhood population. The median income for the neighborhood in 2007 was $38,023 versus the median income for a family of four in the New York Metro area, according to the 2008 HUD calculations, of $59,700.
The housing stock consists primarily of 1-2 family homes on the side streets, and larger apartment buildings on the avenues. Ocean Parkway, a majestic, tree lined roadway with 6 lanes on the main thoroughfare and adjacent service roads, cuts through the middle of the neighborhood, from north to south. Housing along Ocean Parkway consists of four story walk ups, as well as luxury rentals, many of which have been converted to condominiums and co-ops.
Church Avenue serves as the main commercial strip, followed by Ditmas Avenue and 18th Avenue which have stores along five of the nine blocks in the community. The stores along these shopping strips reflect the diversity of the ethnic makeup of the neighborhood.
OPCDC's past accomplishments are visible at 510 Ocean Parkway and 478-482 East 9th Street. In the early 1980’s, both of these buildings were vacant and threatened the stability of the surrounding community, including several parochial schools. OPCDC was the catalyst in the revitalization of the neighborhood by assisting a private developer in obtaining financing and acting as development consultant in the renovation of these buildings. The structures are now 57 cooperative housing units which serve as a neighborhood attraction, rather than detraction.
At 680 Ocean Parkway, OPCDC oversaw the construction of Webster Terrace, a nine story, 89-unit housing development for low-income elderly, funded by the U.S. Department of HUD's Sec. 202 Program. The development cost totaled over $8 million.
OPCDC's efforts have resulted in the renovation, rehabilitation and/or construction of over 2,000 units of housing and in leveraging over $12 million of investment into the community. OPCDC continues to provide assistance to homeowners and landlords to access funding to make the cost of repairs and energy conservation improvements more affordable.
OPCDC is listed with New York City’s 311 system as a primary resource for information and assistance for the DRIE (Disability Rent Increase Exemption) program.
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