East Harlem Residents Want Better Schools, Affordable Housing, Job creation And More

March 13, 2019

East Harlem residents service provider Union Settlement surveys neighborhood residents every two years to determine the community’s concerns and desires, and this year’s report shows that schools and crime are on the minds of East Harlemites.

Union Settlement polled more than 1,100 neighborhood residents for its biannual survey and found that 21 percent of respondents listed improving neighborhood schools as their top priority. Close behind with 19.5 percent is crime reduction, according to the survey.

Union Settlement polled more than 1,100 neighborhood residents for its biannual survey and found that 21 percent of respondents listed improving neighborhood schools as their top priority. Close behind with 19.5 percent is crime reduction, according to the survey.

Rounding out the list of top priorities for neighborhood residents is the creation of affordable housing (11.1 percent) and job creation (10.6 percent). When it comes to issues neighborhood residents find “extremely important” crime and schools swapped places at No. 1 and 2 respectively followed by affordable housing, health care and jobs.

Rounding out the list of top priorities for neighborhood residents is the creation of affordable housing (11.1 percent) and job creation (10.6 percent). When it comes to issues neighborhood residents find “extremely important” crime and schools swapped places at No. 1 and 2 respectively followed by affordable housing, health care and jobs.

“These types of surveys are vital to ensuring that the voices of East Harlem residents are heard,” David Nocenti, Union Settlement’s Executive Director, said in a statement. “It is crucial that elected officials and policymakers at all levels – federal, state and local – fully understand the needs and concerns of the individuals they serve.”

Union Settlement, which offers education, wellness and community-building programs for East Harlem residents, said it surveyed 1,130 residents during its survey. Survey participants were selected from Union Settlement programs such as its college readiness, business development and senior services programs.

Union Settlement, which offers education, wellness and community-building programs for East Harlem residents, said it surveyed 1,130 residents during its survey. Survey participants were selected from Union Settlement programs such as its college readiness, business development, and senior services programs.


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Professors from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College helped the service provider analyze the data that was gathered during the survey reports Patch.

“Helping to identify and address community needs is central to our role as social workers,” Dr. Nancy Giunta, an associate professor at the school and the director of Silberman Aging, said in a statement. “Assisting with these types of surveys not only is a valuable community service it also provides insights that our students and faculty can utilize in their daily work.”

Survey respondents represented a diverse set of people. Of the respondents, 54.9 percent identified themselves as Latino or Hispanic and 35.6 percent as African American or black. Fifteen different primary languages are spoken by survey takers including English, Spanish, French, Mandarin and Bengali. Sixty percent of those surveyed were born in the United States compared to 9 percent born in Puerto Rico and 31 percent born in other parts of the world.

Survey respondents represented a diverse set of people. Of the respondents, 54.9 percent identified themselves as Latino or Hispanic and 35.6 percent as African American or black. Fifteen different primary languages are spoken by survey takers including English, Spanish, French, Mandarin and Bengali. Sixty percent of those surveyed were born in the United States compared to 9 percent born in Puerto Rico and 31 percent born in other parts of the world.

Check out the complete survey results here.

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