The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and the NYPD announced upgrades to 15 basketball courts at the NYCHA campuses in Queensbridge Houses and across the city last week.
The NYPD and federal law enforcement partners provided $4 million to use toward the upgrades. The NYPD’s Kids First initiative joined NYCHA’s Connected Communities program to invest in activities for young people and community spaces.
The Queensbridge North and South NYCHA campuses house more than 6,230 residents and more than 1,400 children and young adults ages 10 to 24.
NYCHA Chairman and CEO Greg Russ said he is committed to activating open spaces to help foster connections between residents.
“The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic made that focus even more essential,” Russ said. “The investments in these basketball courts made possible through the support of the NYPD and our federal law enforcement partners will allow us to provide our young people with additional opportunities for outside play and athletic programming as we move forward into the recovery.”
Throughout the renovation process, NYCHA connected with 600 residents and community members earlier this year to survey their design ideas for the basketball courts.
The courts were resurfaced with new asphalt, customized paint coatings and a unique logo designed by resident input. New backboards, rims, nets and benches were also put in.
NYCHA and the NYPD worked together to identify NYCHA campuses that would be ideal renovation sites. Additionally, the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) will provide sports programming for these sites.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said transforming public spaces for New York City kids has never been more important than at this moment in time.
“This is truly a Field of Dreams moment. We know that if we built it – invest the time and resources – they will come,” Shea said. “And I want to thank all of our partners for engaging in this collaborative effort to continue creating opportunities for our kids to reach their full potential.”
NYCHA provides affordable housing to 380,299 residents in over 177,611 apartments in 355 housing developments.