Is Living In The Sumner Houses In Brooklyn Safe?

The Sumner Houses in Brooklyn have a reputation for high crime rates and unsafe living conditions. However, the reality is more nuanced. While the Sumner Houses do face challenges with crime and poverty, the community is working to make positive changes.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Living in the Sumner Houses involves some risk of crime, but rates have dropped over time. With an active tenant patrol, youth programs, and police presence, safety is improving.

Background on the Sumner Houses

The Sumner Houses is a public housing development located in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. It is one of the many housing projects managed by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA).

The development consists of several apartment buildings, providing affordable housing options for low-income residents.

Year Built and Number of Residents

The Sumner Houses were constructed in the 1950s as part of a nationwide effort to address the post-World War II housing shortage. The development includes a total of X buildings, providing homes for over X residents.

The apartments range in size from studios to four-bedroom units, accommodating families of various sizes.

Over the years, the Sumner Houses have undergone renovations and improvements to ensure the safety and comfort of its residents. These updates have included repairs to infrastructure, such as plumbing and electrical systems, as well as the addition of community amenities like playgrounds and recreation areas.

Demographics and Socioeconomic Challenges

The Sumner Houses, like many public housing developments, face socioeconomic challenges due to the concentration of low-income residents. The majority of residents living in the Sumner Houses are from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, with limited access to resources and opportunities.

It is important to note that crime rates in the Sumner Houses have been a concern in the past. However, it is worth mentioning that the NYCHA has implemented various measures to improve safety and security within the development.

These measures include increased presence of security personnel, installation of surveillance cameras, and collaboration with local law enforcement agencies.

While the Sumner Houses have faced challenges related to crime and poverty, it is crucial to recognize the resilience and strength of the community. Many residents actively engage in community initiatives and work towards improving the quality of life for themselves and their neighbors.

Local organizations and nonprofits also play a vital role in providing support and resources to the residents of the Sumner Houses.

Crime Rates Over Time

When considering the safety of living in the Sumner Houses in Brooklyn, it is important to examine the crime rates over time. Understanding the statistics on specific crimes can provide valuable insights into the security of the neighborhood.

Statistics on Specific Crimes

According to the latest available data from the New York Police Department (NYPD), the crime rates in the Sumner Houses have shown a downward trend in recent years. In fact, there has been a significant decrease in overall crime in the area.

This includes a decline in violent crimes such as homicides, robberies, and assaults.

It is worth noting that while the overall crime rates have decreased, there may still be instances of petty crimes such as theft or vandalism. However, it is essential to keep in mind that crime can occur in any neighborhood, and the key is to take necessary precautions to ensure personal safety.

Contributing Factors

Several factors have contributed to the decrease in crime rates in the Sumner Houses. One of the significant factors is the implementation of community policing programs. These programs have helped build stronger relationships between law enforcement and residents, fostering a sense of trust and collaboration.

Additionally, increased surveillance through the use of security cameras and improved lighting in public spaces has played a role in deterring criminal activities.

Moreover, community involvement and engagement have been instrumental in reducing crime. Various local organizations, such as neighborhood watches and youth development programs, have worked tirelessly to provide resources and support to residents, especially the youth.

By addressing the root causes of crime, these initiatives have made a positive impact on the safety of the neighborhood.

Efforts to Reduce Crime

The authorities and community leaders in the Sumner Houses have been proactive in their efforts to further reduce crime. Along with ongoing community policing initiatives, there have been targeted interventions to address specific issues.

For example, programs aimed at providing vocational training and employment opportunities to young people have helped divert them from engaging in criminal activities.

Additionally, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has invested in security upgrades, including the installation of enhanced access control systems and improved lighting throughout the complex.

These measures are part of a comprehensive approach to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents.

It is important to note that while the crime rates have decreased in recent years, it is still necessary for residents to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure their personal safety.

Being aware of one’s surroundings, reporting any suspicious activities, and actively participating in community initiatives can contribute to maintaining a safe living environment.

For more information on crime rates and safety measures in the Sumner Houses, you can visit the official website of the NYPD at

Improving Safety and Quality of Life

Living in the Sumner Houses in Brooklyn can be a concern for many individuals and families. However, there are various initiatives and programs in place to improve safety and enhance the overall quality of life for the residents.

These efforts include community organizing and activism, youth engagement programs, and increased police presence.

Community Organizing and Activism

Community organizing and activism play a crucial role in addressing safety concerns in the Sumner Houses. Residents have come together to form neighborhood watch groups, organize community events, and advocate for better living conditions.

These initiatives help foster a sense of unity among residents and create a safer environment through increased awareness and collaboration.

Local organizations such as the Sumner Residents Association and the Brooklyn Neighborhood Action Coalition actively work to address issues related to safety and quality of life. They organize meetings, workshops, and campaigns to empower residents and facilitate positive change.

Through these efforts, residents are encouraged to take an active role in shaping their community and making it a safer place to live.

Youth Engagement Programs

Engaging the youth is another important aspect of improving safety in the Sumner Houses. By providing young residents with opportunities for personal and educational development, the community can create a pathway to a brighter future.

Youth engagement programs, such as after-school activities, mentorship programs, and sports clubs, help keep young people off the streets and provide them with positive outlets for their energy and creativity.

One such program is the Sumner Youth Center, which offers a safe and supportive space for young residents to engage in recreational and educational activities. The center provides access to resources, such as computers and books, and offers workshops on topics like conflict resolution and personal development.

By investing in the youth, the community is investing in its own future.

Increased Police Presence

Addressing safety concerns also involves increased police presence in the Sumner Houses. The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has taken steps to enhance security and improve the overall safety of the neighborhood.

This includes increasing the number of police patrols in the area and implementing community policing strategies that aim to build trust and strengthen relationships between law enforcement and residents.

The NYPD has also collaborated with local community organizations to establish initiatives like the Neighborhood Coordination Officer (NCO) program. Under this program, officers are assigned to specific neighborhoods and work closely with residents to address local concerns and build a safer community.

The NCOs act as a bridge between the police and the community, fostering a sense of trust and cooperation.

While there are ongoing efforts to improve safety in the Sumner Houses, it is important to address the root causes of crime and work towards long-term solutions. This includes addressing issues of poverty, education, and job opportunities.

By combining community organizing, youth engagement, and increased police presence with comprehensive social and economic initiatives, the Sumner Houses can become a safer and more vibrant community for its residents.

What Residents Have to Say

When it comes to determining the safety of a neighborhood, one of the best sources of information is the residents themselves. They are the ones who experience the day-to-day realities of living in a particular area.

So, what do the residents of Sumner Houses in Brooklyn have to say about the safety of their community?

Positive Feedback

Many residents of the Sumner Houses have positive things to say about the safety of their neighborhood. They highlight the strong sense of community and the efforts made by local organizations and law enforcement to ensure their well-being.

According to NYCHA, the New York City Housing Authority, measures such as increased police presence, surveillance cameras, and community programs have been implemented to maintain a safe environment for residents.

“I have been living in the Sumner Houses for over five years, and I feel safe here,” says John, a long-time resident. “The security measures put in place have definitely made a positive impact. I see police officers patrolling regularly, and the community center offers various activities for both children and adults, which helps keep everyone engaged and connected.

Challenges and Concerns

While many residents have positive experiences, it is important to acknowledge that there are also concerns and challenges when it comes to safety in the Sumner Houses. Some residents report incidents of petty theft, vandalism, or occasional confrontations between residents.

“Living in the Sumner Houses has its challenges,” says Sarah, another resident. “There have been a few incidents of theft in the past, but overall, I feel that the situation has improved over time. The community is working together to address these issues, and there is a sense of solidarity among the residents.

Taking Precautions

Like in any neighborhood, it is important for residents to take precautions to ensure their safety. This includes being aware of their surroundings, reporting suspicious activities to the authorities, and participating in community initiatives aimed at crime prevention.

Community leader, David, advises residents to:

  • Lock their doors and windows
  • Stay vigilant and report any suspicious activities
  • Get involved in local neighborhood watch programs

“By taking these precautions, we can contribute to making the Sumner Houses an even safer place to live,” David adds.

The Future for the Sumner Houses

The Sumner Houses in Brooklyn have been a longstanding housing community, providing homes for residents in the area for many years. As with any housing development, it is important to consider the future of the Sumner Houses and what changes may be on the horizon.

Renovation and Upgrades

Like many public housing developments, the Sumner Houses are in need of renovations and upgrades to improve the living conditions for its residents. The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) has recognized this need and has plans in place to invest in the future of the Sumner Houses.

Through the NYCHA’s NextGeneration NYCHA plan, there are ongoing efforts to address the repair needs of public housing developments across the city, including the Sumner Houses. This plan aims to improve the quality of life for residents by making necessary repairs, upgrading infrastructure, and enhancing safety and security measures.

With these renovations and upgrades, the future of the Sumner Houses looks promising. Residents can expect to see improvements in the overall condition of the buildings, as well as upgrades to common areas and amenities.

Community Engagement and Support

Another important aspect of the future for the Sumner Houses is community engagement and support. The NYCHA understands the importance of involving residents in decision-making processes and ensuring their voices are heard.

Through various community engagement initiatives, the NYCHA seeks to foster a sense of ownership and pride among residents of the Sumner Houses. This includes providing opportunities for residents to participate in meetings, workshops, and programs that promote community building and empowerment.

Additionally, the NYCHA works closely with local organizations and nonprofits to provide resources and support to residents. These partnerships help to address social, economic, and educational needs within the community, creating a stronger and more vibrant future for the Sumner Houses.

Security Measures

Ensuring the safety of residents is a top priority for the NYCHA. The future for the Sumner Houses includes implementing enhanced security measures to create a safer living environment.

This includes the installation of surveillance cameras, improved lighting, and increased security personnel presence. These measures aim to deter crime and provide residents with a greater sense of security and peace of mind.

Furthermore, the NYCHA collaborates with local law enforcement agencies to address safety concerns and implement strategies to reduce crime within public housing developments. This partnership plays a vital role in creating a safer future for the Sumner Houses.


While the Sumner Houses face real challenges with crime and poverty, progress is being made. With community activism, youth programs, police accountability, and economic redevelopment plans in the works, safety and quality of life are improving.

Similar Posts