Bushwick is a neighborhood in the northeastern part of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. It is bounded by East Williamsburg to the northwest, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn to the southwest, the Cemetery of the Evergreens and other cemeteries to the southeast, and Ridgewood, Queens to the northeast. The neighborhood, formerly Brooklyn’s 18th Ward, is now part of Brooklyn Community Board 4. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD’s 83rd Precinct.
In 1638, the Dutch West India Company secured a deed from the local Lenape people for the Bushwick area, and Peter Stuyvesant, chartered the area in 1661, naming it “Boswijck,” meaning “little town in the woods” or “Heavy Woods” in 17th century Dutch. Its area included the modern day communities of Bushwick, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint. Bushwick was the last of the original six Dutch towns of Brooklyn to be established within New Netherland. The community was settled, though unchartered, on February 16, 1660, on a plot of land between the Bushwick and Newtown Creeks by fourteen French and Huguenot settlers, a Dutch translator named Peter Jan De Witt, and Franciscus the Negro, one of the original eleven slaves brought to New Netherland who had worked his way to freedom. The group centered their settlement around a church located near today’s Bushwick and Metropolitan Avenues. The major thoroughfare was Woodpoint Road, which allowed farmers to bring their goods to the town dock. This original settlement came to be known as Het Dorp by the Dutch, and, later, Bushwick Green by the British. The English would take over the six towns three years later and unite the towns under Kings County in 1683.
At the turn of the 19th century, Bushwick consisted of four villages, Green Point, Bushwick Shore, later to be known as Williamsburg, Bushwick Green, and Bushwick Crossroads, at the spot today’s Bushwick Avenue turns southeast at Flushing Avenue.
In an effort to reduce lead hazards in buildings, HPD and DOHMH created a grant program focusing on residential buildings in the Bushwick Initiative target area. As a result of this outreach, 64 buildings received lead abatement work worth approximately $750,000. 150 buildings were referred to HPD’s Housing Litigation Division (HLD) for action. HLD brought cases to compel the owners of those buildings to correct outstanding violations; to obtain civil penalties for the owners’ failure to comply with the Housing Maintenance Code and the Multiple Dwelling Law where appropriate; and to compel those owners who had failed to register with HPD to do so. In addition, in situations where the owners had failed to correct emergency conditions, including lead paint hazards, and had denied HPD’s inspectors and contractors access to scope and complete the necessary work to remediate the conditions, the Housing Litigation Division obtained access warrants ordering the owners to allow HPD’s inspectors and contractors into the buildings to complete necessary emergency repairs.