Housing leader wins $200,000 and David Prize for work with community

The president of the Red Hook West Houses Residents Association received a $200,000 donation in recognition of her work with the community.  
Karen Blondel has dedicated her life to working and aiding her neighbors since she moved to Red Hook in the 1980s. She turned that interest into a career by getting involved with Americorp Red Hook, becoming a computer-aided designer and construction inspector.  
"I used to see sludge coming up in my bathroom a lot and I was very interested in infrastructure. How it worked, why we couldn't get these problems resolved,” said Blondel. “When the pandemic hit, we created the Public Housing Civic Association. That's because I truly believe the more we educate public housing residents, the more confident they'll be at the table if they're talking to developers, if they're talking to engineers, if they're talking to academia.” 
Blondel was awarded one of the 2023 David Prizes, a $200,000 donation that will go toward supporting New Yorkers who have bold ideas and passion for bettering their community in New York City.