Capstone Courses and Projects
Bushwick Cooperative Federal Credit Union
Bushwick, Brooklyn is one of the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in New York City. Over 30 percent of the 105,000 residents receive income assistance and 37 percent live below the poverty level. Given the pressing need for affordable housing and sound lending practices in this low-income neighborhood, Bushwick Cooperative, a community development credit union, was created to address the lack of mainstream financial institutions and access to credit. The Capstone team analyzed demographic data, housing data and current mortgage lending activity; surveyed credit union members; and conducted in-depth interviews with neighborhood stakeholders and other community development credit unions. The team provided Bushwick Cooperative with a best practices report containing recommendations that the credit union will incorporate into the design of its home mortgage lending program.
In the past, various plans have been proposed to develop Governors Island, however all have relied heavily on government support. This study intends to present a plan that will create a public space devoid of any outside financial support so that Governors Island will be economically selfsustainable. It is determined that any plan must include provisions for residential development to avoid the use of government subsidies and therefore tax payer dollars. The Capstone team lays out a strategy on three key fronts: (1) identifying those portions of the island which need to be addressed immediately in the most cost effective manner in order to attract private investment; (2) identifying methods of encouraging development that will lead to a self sustainable island without sacrificing aesthetics or cultural amenities; and (3) presenting development scenarios, as dictated by the Governors Island deed, that are economically viable.