What is Wrong with Mott Haven?

By Raphia Ngoutane

One of the many projects in Mott Haven. (Photo by Raphia Ngoutane)

One of the many projects in Mott Haven.
(Photo by Raphia Ngoutane)

“I don’t like the projects at all. I feel disgusting [because] people pee in the elevators and smoke weed and pot, cigarettes and all that,” wrote Yesenia Marte a 16 years-old girl who resides in a public house building in Mott Haven.
Mott Haven is a neighborhood located in the South Bronx, in New York City. According to the city data, more than half of Mott Haven residents do not have a high school diploma. Which results in a major amount of high school dropouts.
Due to the high number of dropouts, the area has suffered from poverty and crime. Therefore, according to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) out of 50,000 residents about 5,521 people reside in public housing, because of its low cost and government assistance.
When thirteen year-old Boukari was asked what she likes the most about her neighborhood, she replied, “the park I actually go to, it’s nice and quiet.” When asked about the downsides of living in Mott Haven, she said, “the projects are really violent and loud.”
“My neighbors and friends that live around and I live in a private house,” twelve year-old Bintou Jallow said. When asked if there is something she could change in her community, she replied,  “I don’t like seeing people smoke, so that is something I would like to change.”
“My neighborhood is ok I guess,” said fifteen years-old Loranny Fernandez. “If I were to change something, it will be the creeps on the street,” added Fernandez. By “creeps” she means the street group of people that hang around the buildings.
E 140 st and Alexander Av (Photo by Raphia Ngoutane)

E 140 st and Alexander Av
(Photo by Raphia Ngoutane)

When asked about the changes public housings need to go through, Marte wrote, “wanted them to put cameras in the building and they did so im good but, i would like the building to be cleaner , i would like the stairs light to be brighter and the hallways too.”

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