East New York Affordable Housing Project Completes Phase 1

The Fountains. Image Credit: NYC HPD

Project will result in 1,163 affordable homes. On October 20, 2020 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the completion of the initial phase of the Fountains of Brooklyn project that is being constructed on the site of the State’s former Brooklyn Developmental Center in East New York, which closed in 2015. This project is a 6.7-acre mixed-use complex that will ultimately offer 1,163 affordable homes. The first two completed buildings of the project will include 332 affordable apartments and supportive services for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities so these individuals can live independently.

The Fountains is located close to public transportation, Shirley Chisholm State Park, bike trails, and community resources such as grocery stores, parks, schools, and other retail establishments. The State’s former Brooklyn Development Center was purchased through the Empire State Development’s competitive request for proposal process and is being developed by Arker Companies. According to the terms of the sale, the Arker Companies paid $10 million for the property.

This project advances Governor Cuomo’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe affordable housing through the $20 billion five-year Housing Plan. The plan aim is to make housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested nearly $2.5 billion in Brooklyn that has created or preserved 11,800 affordable homes.

The first building of the Fountain project includes a new $23.4 million building at 11629 Seaview Avenue with 65 affordable apartments. Seventeen units will be reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities who will have access to onsite support services provided by the Block Institute, Inc. These units will also receive rental subsidies provided by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. Ten units will be fully accessible and adaptable for residents with mobility, hearing, or vision impairments. This funding for this building included an allocation of federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits through New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Additional funding came through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s Multifamily New Construction Program who awarded $158,600 for this project and add provided a total of $152,840 in NY-Sun incentives. Additional financing was provided by Bank of America.

The second building, located at 911 Erskine Street, offers 267 affordable homes for families. Sixty-seven apartments are reserved for adults with intellectual disabilities who will have access to comprehensive onsite supportive services provided the Block Institute and review rental subsidies by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. Financing for the $86.8 million building included permeant tax-exempt climate bonds, federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, a subsidy from the New York State Homes and Community Renewal, and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Both buildings were designed to meet the standards of Energy Star Multifamily High Rise and Enterprise Green Communities programs to achieve maximum energy efficiency. Some of the energy efficient features include high efficiency condensing boilers and heat pumps, Energy State appliances, and photo sensors and timers to control outdoor and site lighting.

Speaking on the project, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said: “the first phase of The Fountains will provide stable, affordable housing to people who need it most. I was proud to offer testimony in support of this project, emphasizing the need to prioritize those at risk of displacement in the East New York and Brownsville areas. The complex’s commitment to centering sustainability should also serve as a model for developments throughout our borough, especially as we continue to contend with the effects of climate change. I thank our partners at the City and State level for making this a reality, and look forward to celebrating the openings of the next phases soon.”

By: Lynsey Smith (Lynsey is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)


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