Affordable housing lottery opens at Bedford Union Armory in Crown Heights, from $367/month

June 24, 2021

Rendering courtesy of NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

The city on Thursday launched an affordable housing lottery for 55 rentals at the Bedford Union Armory redevelopment in Crown Heights. Recently renamed the Major R. Owens Health & Wellness Community Center, the former home of the U.S. Army’s Cavalry Troop C is being transformed into a mixed-use building with recreational and community space, as well as mixed-income apartments and office space. New Yorkers earning 30, 40, 50, and 60 percent of the area median income can apply for the units available in this first phase, ranging from $367/month studios to $1,472/month three-bedrooms.

Bedford Union Armory, Crown Heights Armory
Rendering of the Bedford Union Armory courtesy of BFC

Adjacent to the nearly complete community center and located at 1089 President Street, the development includes 415 units of mixed-income housing, with 250 of them affordable for households earning at or below 60 percent of the AMI. Additional units will be available for households earning between $20,000 for an individual and $28,000 for a family of four, as well as homes set aside for formerly homeless New Yorkers.

Income requirements for the apartments available through the lottery range from $14,778 annually for a one-person household to $88,800 annually for a seven-person household. Residences have in-unit laundry, dishwashers, and energy-efficient appliances. There is also an on-site recreation room and bike storage.

“We are excited to launch Phase 1 of the affordable housing lottery in Building 2 of the Bedford Union Armory,” Joseph Ferrara of BFC Partners said. “At a time when Central Brooklyn is struggling to recover from the pandemic, these 60 deeply affordable units will provide substantial opportunity to our neighbors. BFC Partners is proud to provide such a resource for the Crown Heights community- this is just the beginning.”

Bedford Union Armory, Crown Heights Armory

Rendering of the Bedford Union Armory courtesy of BFC

Designed in 1903 by Pilcher and Tachau and opened in 1908, the Bedford Union Armory occupies a full city block between Bedford and Rogers Avenues and Union and President Streets. The structure was created for Calvalry Troop C and accommodated space for troops to train, equipment storage, horse stables, offices, rifle range, and a swim tank.

Since decommissioned for military use, the armory was taken over by New York City in 2013 with the intent of redeveloping the building for community use. For the project, the city’s Economic Development Corporation selected BFC Partners as the developer, with Marvel Architects handling the design. The City Council approved the project in 2017.

Expected to open by the end of the year, the Major R. Owens Community Center includes a 60,000 square foot recreation center with an indoor swimming pool, three basketball courts, an indoor soccer field, dance studios, a fitness center, and a facility designated for local nonprofits. Earlier this year, the city selected the Boys’ Club of New York as the operator of the facility.

The affordable housing element has been at the crux of the controversy surrounding the project. Housing advocates and some public officials argued the project was not affordable enough for the neighborhood, especially since over 160 units will be market rate. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who currently has a significant lead in the mayoral race, has previously voiced his opposition to the housing parameters of the project.

“The borough president has been clear throughout this process that we must listen to the voices of the community, who are largely united in calling for 100 percent of the units to be affordable for surrounding residents,” a spokesperson for Adams told the Brooklyn Eagle in 2019.

The Major R. Owens Community Center is scheduled to open by the end of 2021 with the housing components of the project expected for 2022 and 2023.

Qualifying New Yorkers can apply for the affordable units until August 25, 2021. Fifty percent of units are set aside for residents of Brooklyn Community Board 9. Complete details on how to apply are available here. Questions regarding this offer must be referred to NYC’s Housing Connect department by dialing 311.

If you don’t qualify for the housing lotteries mentioned, visit’s no-fee rentals page for other apartment deals in the city.


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