Capital Funding: a history

2015–2022 Summary

In the City Charter, Borough Presidents are allocated capital funds by a formula (calculated on the basis of land area and population for each borough) for each BP to distribute in their boroughs. These allocations fund capital expenditures – long-lasting projects such as accessibility improvements, technology upgrades, and renovations – as opposed to program expenses, which are short- or long-term services or small items purchased for operations.

In my nearly eight years as Borough President, I’ve allocated $213 million to fund capital projects at schools, at cultural organizations, in parks, and at social service organizations which have paid for a green roof at PS/IS 217 Roosevelt Island, a new accessible elevator at Gibney Dance, and a New York Common Pantry mobile food pantry.

The interactive graphs below depict the amount I allocated for various institutional categories. Hover over each color in the graphs to see how much was allocated per category. Most graphs are also clickable– select a sub-category in any year (eg, playground or renovation) to reveal a list of all the projects funded.

2015–2022 Capital Funding Allocations, by category

 

 

2015–2022 Capital Funding Allocations, by year

 

Schools: $92 million 

Schools were my top funding priority, making up 43% of my allocations over eight years. I allocated money for new and renovated playgrounds, new flooring, and rooftop gardens. And we funded all sorts of technology including SMART Board interactive video screens, desktop, laptop, and tablet computers, and classroom electrical upgrades. Once the pandemic drove classes to be remote, I was glad that many schools already had this equipment for their students because of my office’s capital funding.

 

Cultural Organizations: $34 million 

I’m proud to have allocated 16% of my capital budget over my eight years to fund 273 organizations that make Manhattan a cultural mecca. Many expanded or renovated their venues. Thirteen of them sought funds to remodel their spaces to be ADA-compliant; 92 others used our funds for technology upgrades and performance equipment.

 

Parks: $28 million

Park renovation, construction, and acquisition projects comprised 12% of capital funding. We helped build or improve play spaces, basketball courts, and monuments; we improved restrooms so they could reopen, and repaved pathways and rebuilt stairs. My staff and the Parks Department identified leftover funds from completed projects to apply to new needs– and found opportunities to leverage additional financial commitments from private foundations.

 

Social Services: $15 million  

I allocated 7% of the capital budget to 68 social service organizations. Many of them outgrew their space, so I helped fund new construction and/or the outfitting of expanded spaces. I was also pleased to fund computer workspaces for job readiness and after-school programs, along with energy-efficient equipment for social service organizations.

 

Housing: $14 million 

I allocated 7% of the capital budget to 58 housing-related requests. I contributed to construction costs for affordable housing developments, helped renovate apartment complexes for senior citizens, and funded NYCHA needs.

 

Higher Education: $10 million 

I directed 5% of my capital allocations to higher education institutions, mainly CUNY schools. I helped CUNY campuses upgrade their technology and renovate student spaces, funded a green roof at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and contributed to the Amsterdam Avenue pedestrian plaza at Yeshiva University.

 

Other: $20 million 

I allocated 10% of capital monies to more than 70 hospitals, libraries, nonprofits, and charter schools. Many of these allocations addressed budget gaps in projects, and these funds enabled a variety of proposals to move forward, from a dog run to major surgical equipment to state-of-the-art library technology.

The annual lists of all prior capital allocations are available at the bottom of this page.