Greenpoint, Brooklyn is a culturally vibrant neighborhood full of a wide range of retail shops, restaurants, bars & venues, banks, and other services. It is largely occupied by people of Polish descent (43.6% according to the 2000 Census) and of Hispanic descent (19.2%.) The median income is $33,578, significantly lower than the corresponding national average of $41,994. Even with the median income in Greenpoint being almost $10,000 less than the national average, it has many of the same difficult characteristics shared by most New York City neighborhoods - namely higher-than-average housing prices, overcrowded schools, higher utility prices, high local taxes, and lack of high paying jobs- all of which create a much higher total cost of living than most cities in the United States. A very low proportion of Greenpoint residents own their homes. According to the 2000 census, only 19.2% of residents owned the homes they were living in, versus the 66.2% national average. Rent prices have also consistently been on the rise, despite a few significant hiccups since the November 2008 financial crisis. It could be a great advantage to local residents if a program was set up providing local tax breaks for first time home owners in Greenpoint. Also, if the budget would allow, the City could match the Federal government’s pledge of $8000 in assistance for first time homebuyers. With $16,000 in assistance, and lowered taxes, many Greenpoint residents who otherwise would not be able to purchase a home might be able to afford that option. A lower percentage of Greenpoint residents graduate high school than the national average (70.4% vs. 80.4%), which is also true for those with Bachelors degrees (21.2% vs. 24.4%). This lack of higher education hinders peoples’ likelihood of getting high paying jobs, and in turn, makes it harder for them to move out of poverty into the middle class. A no-cost GED training center should be set up on Greenpoint Avenue to...
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