489 New Units of Affordable/Elderly Housing to Rise on Land in Brooklyn and the Bronx

May 5, 2016

Photo via Wiki Commons

The de Blasio administration is expected to announce plans to lease New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) land to build nearly 500 apartments for low-income and elderly tenants in three buildings of up to 16 stories within existing housing projects in Brooklyn and the Bronx, according to the New York Times. The sites, on parking lots and grasslands within the projects, were included in the housing authority’s initiative to improve deteriorating public housing, as well as increase the number of new affordable units. More controversial plans are also in the works to add market-rate housing within public housing projects in prime real estate locations.

nycha, ingersoll houses, affordable housing, projects, de blasioIngersoll Houses in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, via Wiki Commons

The new units will charge below-market rents to households earning 20 to 60 percent of area median income with public housing residents citywide getting preference on 25 percent of the units. The new additions will rise in the Mill Brook Houses in the South Bronx and the Ingersoll Houses and Van Dyke Houses in Brooklyn and will be built by three separate private developers. The housing authority is leasing the land to the developers under 60-year leases, which the administration says will guarantee affordability for at least that long.

The new buildings–the first of 50 or 60 in the works on housing authority land–are expected to create about 10,000 below-market units. Included in the new additions will be amenities and services like rooftop gardens, arts and technology programs, community centers, preschool education, social services and a walk-in urgent care center, according to officials. These services will also be available to residents in surrounding neighborhoods.

The new homes are expected to raise as much as $200 million in fees paid by developers; to bring in up to three times more, the administration also plans to use public housing land within prime real estate locations to construct buildings in which half the units would rent at market rates. The idea of “hybrid” buildings has been met with resistance from residents who fear the ills of gentrification; there has been less opposition to the all-affordable and elderly units planned for the same sites.

Plans for “Ingersoll Senior” at the Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene, Brooklyn to be developed by BFC Partners include a 16-story apartment building–including a senior center for social, health and cultural services–on an unused grassy area available for seniors earning up to 60 percent of area median income. At the Van Dyke Houses in Brownsville, Brooklyn, 13-story Dumont Commons will rise on a parking lot site and house single adults and families. The building will offer an urgent care and wellness center and early childhood, prekindergarten and after-school programs. In the South Bronx, Mill Brook Terrace–currently a parking lot–will offer 156 units on nine floors for low-income older adults, including a senior center, a neighborhood community room and a rooftop garden.

The new units are also expected to bring jobs to the community, including NYCHA residents hired for construction work. According to officials, agreements between the selected developers and the housing authority should be finalized by the end of the year; construction is expected to begin in 2017 and last about two years.

[Via NYTimes]


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