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District 38

Alexa Avilés

Red Hook and parts of Gowanus, Park Slope, Sunset Park, Borough Park, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach

> New Community Geographies

The new District 38 has added a portion of Brooklyn Community Districts 10 and 11 to its existing geography. It also split Sunset Park and added parts of the following neighborhoods: Gowanus, Park Slope, Sunset Park, Borough Park, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach.

> Demographics


There are ~177,000 residents in 60,000+ households and these households have an average size of 3.04 people.

The youth population (22.5% under 18 years old) is slightly higher than NYC’s and the senior population (13.5% over 65 years old) is slightly lower than NYC’s. The northern portion of D38 (north of 65th Street) has a younger population and the southern portion has an older population than the whole district.

Race + Ethnicity 

There is a plurality of Hispanic/Latine residents (36%) and almost as many Asian residents (31%). The northern portion of D38 has a plurality of Hispanic/Latine residents (43.8%) while the southern portion has a plurality of Asian residents (42.3%).

District 38 has seen an increase in the number of Asian residents and a slight decline in Hispanic/Latine and white residents.

Country of Origin + Language

46% of residents were born in another country and 69% speak a language other than English. Over half (51%) of residents in the southern portion were born in another country.

Of those born outside the US, the largest countries/regions of origin were:

  • China – 41%
  • Mexico – 9%
  • Eastern Europe – 7%
  • Dominican Republic – 6%
  • Ecuador – 4%

Chinese speakers (46%) and Spanish speakers (39%)  comprise the vast majority of English language learners in the district.

> Income + Education

The median household income is $65,405, slightly under the citywide median of $70,663. Both portions of the district have similar median incomes. There has been an 8% increase in residents with Bachelor’s degree or higher over the last decade (31% total). An equal number of residents have less than a high school degree (31% total), with that number significantly higher among households of color.

Poverty Rate

18% of residents are below poverty, including 23% of residents under age 18, and 22% of residents over age 65 – the district has a higher senior poverty rate compared to the city as a whole.

> Housing Types + Need

Housing Tenure (Renting/Owning)

Over 2/3rds of district residents are renters (68%) and less than 1/3rd are owners (32%)


District 38 includes two NYCHA developments – Red Hook East & Red Hook West – with a combined count of over 2,800 units and over 5,500 residents, they are the largest NYCHA developments in Brooklyn


Over half (53%) of renters in D38 are rent-burdened (paying >30% of income to rent) and 28% are extremely rent-burdened (paying >50% of income to rent).

There are disparities by race in the district: for example, in Community District 7 over 60% of Asian, Black, and Hispanic households are rent-burdened compared to 41% of white households.

> Housing Development

Between 2010 and 2022, there was a net gain of 2,513 units in D38, ranking 31st out of 51 Council Districts in terms of development. The typical increase in units per census block was zero to five units throughout the district. The northern portion saw both more variety of size and larger increases in units, while the southern portion saw mostly increases under 5 units.

Affordable Housing Development

Since 2014, 241 new affordable units have been built (less than ~10% of total new units) across 16 developments, ranking 36th out of 51 Council Districts. All of this affordable development has taken place in the northern portion of the district.

  • 2 of those developments were 100% affordable (Sunset Park Library project)
  • 4 were in Inclusionary Housing zones (VIH or MIH)
  • AMI levels for newly constructed affordable units were evenly split (~33% each) between Extremely Low Income, Low Income, and Middle Income

Since 2014, 898 affordable units have been preserved across 87 developments.

  • 85 of those developments were 100% affordable
  • 64% of preserved units were Extremely Low Income Units

> Employment + Major Industries

The unemployment rate in the district in 7.1% close to the citywide number of 7.5%

The largest types of jobs in the district are:

  • Educational services, health care & social assistance – 24.7%
  • Industrial – 21.6%
    • (ie. Construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation & warehousing, utilities)
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, and accommodation & food services – 14.60%

> Commuting + Car Ownership

Over 60% of district residents take public transportation or walk to work

  • Public transportation – 50.6%
  • Drove alone – 17.6%
  • Walked – 12.9%
  • Carpooled – 6.3%

Over half of district households (52.6%) do not own a car.

> Rezoning

There have been 3 City-initiated rezonings approved in at least a portion of the district since 2007:

  • Dyker Heights/Ft. Hamilton in 2007 – a downzoning decreasing overall residential density
  • Sunset Park in 2009 – a hybrid rezoning, mapping contextual districts on residential mid-blocks while increasing density on larger avenues and corridors, including mapping VIH
  • 4th Avenue Enhanced Commercial Special District in 2011 – creating certain special rules and requirements for commercial uses along 4th Avenue 
  • Gowanus in 2021 – an upzoning from manufacturing to residential, increasing overall residential density, including mapping MIH 

4 private rezonings have been approved in the district since 2007.

  • All four private rezonings were upzonings from manufacturing districts (outside the IBZ) to residential/commercial districts
  • 3 of the rezonings included mapping MIH

There are no MIH or VIH areas in the southern portion of the district.

> Industrial

41% of lots are zoned for manufacturing, with almost a quarter zoned for heavy manufacturing – almost entirely concentrated along the waterfront and the Southwest Brooklyn IBZ.

> Environmental Justice + Climate

Parks + Green Space

The northern portion of D38 has very little tree canopy. Borough Park, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach residents are in zip codes within the bottom 25% of park access in NYC.


Over the next 25 years, the industrial area in the northern portion faces increasing ocean flood risk. Additionally, in the next 75 years, the areas in the southern portion adjacent to Dyker Beach Park and within some corridors will experience more deep and contiguous flooding.


The industrial area of the northern portion of D38 is much hotter than other parts of the City. Parts of the southern portion have hotter temperatures, particularly parts of Dyker Heights.

This data snapshot report was published in January 2024.

A PDF of the data snapshot can be accessed and downloaded below: