Four years ago, the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation filed plans for a mixed-use building at 2501 Pitkin Avenue in East New York. The seven-story building known as the Pitkin Berriman Apartments has more than 3,000 square feet of street-level retail space that includes a grocery store, outdoor spaces such as a rear yard patio, playground, and garden, and affordable rentals. Those below-market-rate apartments are now available to low- and middle-income New Yorkers earning 40, 50, or 60 percent of the area median income through the city’s housing lottery. The 47 available units range from $558/month one-bedrooms to $1,224/month three-bedrooms.
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The owners of Starrett City, the largest federally subsidized housing project in the country, recently announced they found a buyer for the $850 million Brooklyn development. Located in East New York, Starrett City sits on 145 acres and includes 5,881 affordable apartments for 15,000 residents. As the New York Times reported, President Donald Trump partially owns the housing development and will benefit from the sale of the property. Since the sale requires federal approval from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and state officials, this puts the president on both sides of the agreement, creating a potential conflict of interest for him.
428 Saratoga Avenue, courtesy of Dattner Architects
Back in April of 2016, 6sqft shared the first affordable housing lottery to come online at the Dattner Architects-designed Prospect Plaza. Located in the Brownsville section of East New York–which has seen a slew of new below-market rate housing after a controversial rezoning–the 4.5-acre development will include a total of 364 units of of affordable and public housing, a 22,000-square-foot supermarket, 12,000-square-foot community facility, and a rooftop greenhouse. As of today, New Yorkers earning 40, 50, and 60 percent of the area median income can apply for 107 of these apartments at 428 Saratoga Avenue, ranging from $558/month one-bedrooms to $1,224/month three-bedrooms.
Rendering of Stone House via Urban Architecture Initiatives
Construction began in 2015 for the Stone House at 91 Junius Street, a six-story, 161-unit building on the border of Brownsville and East New York. The supportive housing initiative comes via nonprofit Win, the largest provider of shelter for homeless families in New York City, who run two shelters just to the north of this site, according to CityRealty. The Stone House will reserve 96 units for homeless families and 64 for low-income households earning 50 or 60 percent of the area media income. The latter group has now become available through the city’s affordable housing lottery, with apartments ranging from $670/month studios to $1,224 three-bedrooms, all of which have access to the building’s offerings such as ground-floor retail, on-site laundry, a community room, outdoor playground, and on-site social services.
Governor Cuomo announced a $1.4 billion initiative last week to bring resources like health care services and new jobs to Central Brooklyn. According to the governor, the plan, called “Vital Brooklyn,” will bring 7,600 jobs and more than 3,000 new affordable housing units to Brownsville, East New York, Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights. And while Cuomo’s administration found these neighborhoods to be some of the most disadvantaged in the state, residents worry about the possible gentrification and displacement effects (h/t NY Times).
As a subsection of Bed-Stuy—and with a location adjacent to rapidly gentrifying Bushwick—Ocean Hill has seen renewed interest from developers in the last few years. The approved rezoning of East New York in February has also given the neighborhood a big boost and brokers have started calling the area Brooklyn’s “last frontier.” As such, although the area median income remains very low ($35,000), home prices are quickly moving skyward and flipping is already in full effect. But not all is lost for those with lesser means. Starting today, qualifying NYC residents can apply for 27 newly constructed apartments at 1676 Broadway and 8 Rockaway Avenue. Apartments ranging from one- to three-bedrooms have been priced between $834 and $1,163 a month and are being offered to households earning between $30,000 and $63,000.
The affordable housing go-to’s at Dattner Architects are at it again, this time with a six-building complex in East New York known as Stanley Commons, which includes five four-story buildings and one seven-story building surrounded by a large courtyard. There will also be a 19,000-square-foot community facility operated by Good Shepherds Services, a social service and youth development organization, and Man Up Inc., a local agency focusing on neighborhood improvement.
The City Planning Commission recently approved a controversial rezoning of the neighborhood, part of de Blasio’s push to increase affordable housing here, so it makes sense that 191 units are now up for grabs through the city’s housing lottery for individuals earning 60 percent of the area media income. This ranges from a $788/month studio to $1,182/month three-bedrooms.
As part of his city-wide campaign, Mayor de Blasio has made a push for affordable housing in East New York, where the City Planning Commission recently approved a controversial rezoning. Local residents cited concerns that the changes would lead to displacement and gentrification in a neighborhood where the median income is $35,000 annually. But the city’s latest housing lottery offers a whopping 259 units for households earning between $18,275 (single persons) and $71,760 (eight people). The apartments, 50 percent of which are reserved for local residents, range from $494/month studios to $1,322/month four-bedrooms.
These units are within the third phase of Gateway Elton Street, a new multi-building affordable housing development with ground-floor retail and community facility space in the Spring Creek section of East New York. In total, it will offer 659 apartments and roughly 70,000 square feet of commercial space. Phase three, located at 1062 Elton Street and 475 Locke Street, was designed by Dattner Architects, who organized the two-building site around a central courtyard with parking and outdoor recreation areas.
Map of proposed rezoning via Department of City Planning
The New York City Planning Commission voted 12-1 in approval of Mayor de Blasio’s controversial rezoning plan for East New York, Gothamist reports. It’s the first of 15 low-income neighborhoods scheduled for rezoning as part of the Mayor’s affordable housing plan, which promises to create or preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing. The City Council is scheduled to vote on the rezoning this spring.
As part of what is known as Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH), rezoning plans for East New York’s Cypress Hills neighborhood and adjacent Ocean Hill in Bed-Stuy would have 7,000 new apartments built by 2030, 3,447 of which will be designated affordable, in addition to one million square feet of commercial space. Of those affordable units, 80 percent would be reserved for families (defined as a household of three, with any number of earners) making no more than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or $46,000; 27 percent would go to families making 40 percent of the AMI or $31,000.
Recently on the Brian Lehrer radio show on WNYC, Mayor De Blasio addressed questions about the effects inclusionary development–i.e. giving developers the green light to build market rate housing if they set aside 25-30 percent of the units for low- and middle-income residents–has on the quality of life in lower-income neighborhoods. A growing concern among housing activists is that reliance on this kind of inclusionary zoning leads to gentrification that pushes out the lower income residents due to the 70-75 percent of market rate units bringing new, wealthy residents and new businesses that will cater to them.