City Planning Green Lights 70 Supportive and Affordable Units in Brownsville

Empty lots at 210–214 Hegeman Avenue. Image Credit: GoogleMaps

The City Planning Commission approved the construction of 70 new affordable and supportive units in Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood. On March 8, 2017, the City Planning Commission issued a favorable report on an application by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development to designate the properties at 210–214 Hegeman Avenue as an Urban Development Action Area and Project, and for the disposition of the lots. The designation and sale would facilitate the construction of an eight-story, 42,000 square-foot building containing 70 units of affordable and supportive housing. The developer, CAMBA Housing Ventures Inc., is a New York City based nonprofit company that serves more than 45,000 individuals and families each year.

The project site is currently a vacant lot located along the southern blockfront of Hegeman Avenue between Watkins Street and Mother Gaston Boulevard. The proposed building would be about 79 feet high and contain approximately 70 studio units. The cellar would include storage, shared spaces for communal activities, social service offices, staff offices, and laundry facilities.

Of the 70 planned units, 42 would be supportive units and 28 would be reserved for individuals earning below 60 percent of the area median income. According to CAMBA, the affordable units would be distributed by lottery with a maximum qualifying income of $31,008. The supportive housing units would be set aside for formerly homeless with a disability and would be allocated on an individual basis through a Department of Homeless Services referral program.

On December 20, 2016, Brooklyn Community Board 16 voted 24-1 to recommend approval of the application. On January 23, 2017, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams agreed and issued his own recommendation of approval.

In its report, the Commission found the application to be appropriate. The report noted that the properties have been vacant for many years and “redevelopment of this site will remove a blighting influence from the neighborhood while providing much-needed supportive and affordable housing.”

The application will move to the City Council for consideration in the coming weeks.

CPC: 210–214 Hegeman Avenue, Brooklyn (C 170153 HAK, C 170154 ZSK) (March 8, 2017).

By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).

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