$2m to construct low cost housing

$2m to construct low cost housing
Brooklyn Borough President’s Office / Erica Sherman

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Monday detailed more than $2 million in Fiscal Year 2017 (FY17) funds from Brooklyn Borough Hall to construct and preserve hundreds of low cost housing units across Brooklyn.

Adams made the announcement outside Calvary Community Church in Crown Heights, a house of worship that will build more than 150 affordable units for low-income seniors and families, working in partnership with a regional non-profit providing supportive services and a local developer.

“We want to stop the hemorrhaging of affordable housing in Brooklyn, and our dollars will go a long way when we partner with local organizations and developers,” he said. “There are many faith-based organizations in the borough that have parking lots, or air rights, where affordable housing can be developed. What we believe is that the people who lived here before Starbucks came in should be able to stay here and buy a Starbucks after it comes in.”

Adams said $500,000 will be used for construction costs of Calvary Intergenerational, a 154-unit mixed-use affordable housing development in Crown Heights, targeted to serve low-income seniors and families.

To be built across two buildings located at 1485 St. Johns Place and 1575-1579 St. John’s Pl., the project will include 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and a 17,000 square-foot multi-use community facility to be operated by the Calvary Community Church.

Calvary Intergenerational will include 72 units set aside for low-income seniors between 27-47 percent of area median income (AMI) and 81 units for families with incomes between 47-97 percent of AMI, plus one super’s unit.

Selfhelp Community Services will provide on-site support and programming to senior residents with the mission of maintaining their independence.

“Long before there was a borough president named Adams or a mayor named de Blasio, there was a dream,” said Pastor Cecil Henry of Calvary Community Church. “Now that dream — the dream to minister not just to the spiritual needs, but also to the physical needs, of this community — can become a reality.”

“Borough President Adams’ generous investment in this project will help ensure that, together with our partners, Selfhelp Community Services is able to develop a residence for service-enriched affordable living that enables our city’s seniors to live with independence and dignity,” said Stuart C. Kaplan, chief executive officer of Selfhelp Community Services. “We look forward to serving the residents at Calvary Intergenerational in homes that are attractive, safe, and affordable.”

Additionally, Borough President Adams’ Faith-Based Development Initiative, which connects local houses of worship with information and resources to explore opportunities for developing their properties to create affordable housing and other community benefits, rolled out a $500,000 allocation for Ebenezer Plaza, a 481-unit mixed-use affordable housing development in Brownsville targeted to serve low-income families.

The project was proposed by Brownsville Linden Plaza LLC, a joint venture between a newly-formed development group, including Procida Companies, and the Church of God of East Flatbush.

The two vacant parcels, owned by the Church of God of East Flatbush, are situated on Hegeman Avenue and New Lots Avenue, in proximity to the Brownsville Recreation Center.

One hundred percent of the units will be designated for renters under 60 percent area mean income, Adams said.

Additionally, he said there will be more than 29,000 square feet of ground-level commercial and retail space, as well as about 39,000 total square feet to be used by the Church of God of East Flatbush as their sanctuary space.

Two more new affordable housing projects received capital grants from Adams. In Bushwick, he awarded $500,000 to Southside United HDFC for Rheingold Senior Housing, a building on the site of the former Rheingold Brewery that will provide about 64 units of permanently affordable housing for seniors, with rents set only as high as 60 percent of area mean income.

Fifty percent of the affordable units will go to residents of Brooklyn Community Board 4, and 30 percent will be set aside for formerly homeless residents.

The building will include community facility space to provide social services to residents, as well as commercial space.

Adams also gave $500,000 to the Fifth Avenue Committee for their Sunset Park Senior Housing and Health Clinic, a project that will provide a new health clinic and 74 new units of affordable housing at the site of the shuttered Zion Luther Church, as well as six family units from two adjacent townhomes that will be rehabilitated for this purpose.

The project intends to meet the affordable housing needs of extremely low-income senior citizens for the 68 apartments that will be built at 6309 Fourth Avenue, and for low-income families for the five apartments that will be created at 414 and 416 63rd St.

To advance Adams’ goal of protecting Brooklyn’s tenants and preserving the borough’s existing affordable housing stock, he invested $250,000 in a mobile unit for HPD, which will enhance the agency’s ability to maintain a local presence. Its goal will be to facilitate and improve HPD’s preparedness and response to building-wide and long-term emergencies as well as provide constituents with education, information, and better overall access to agency and City services.