Housing for mentally-ill approved

HPD obtains approval for four-story housing project with 19 studio apartments. On August 17, 2005, the City Council approved HPD’s application for the construction of a four-story, low-income housing project for the mentally ill on four vacant lots in East New York, Brooklyn. The 7,600-square-foot site, comprised of four lots at 433 – 441 DeWitt Avenue at Malta Street, is located on a residential block, containing other HPD projects, privately- owned residences and a few vacant City-owned lots. The proposal, a 13,440-square-foot building with 19 studio apartments, was approved in 2004 by the Planning Commission, but HPD withdrew the application prior to the City Council’s vote. HPD re-applied for development approval in 2005.

PSCH Inc., a not-for-profit corporation that provides health care, rehabilitative services, job training and housing to persons with developmental and psychiatric disabilities, will manage the project. The project will provide transitional housing to mentally-ill patients who have shown the ability to live within the community yet are in need of supportive services to complete the transition. Patients will stay within the facility for 18 to 24 months and PSCH will provide educational, vocational and medical services on site.

Prior to the Planning Commission’s approval on July 27, 2005, PSCH agreed that evening security guards would be provided and a community advisory task force would be formed to address ongoing community concerns with the transitional housing project. PSCH also committed to completing outreach and sensitivity training with the NYPD since training had proven helpful with PSCH’s housing facility in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

City Council’s Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions approved HPD’s application on August 15, 2005, sending it to the Land Use Committee and the full Council, which both approved.

ULURP Process: HPD, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration on March 7, 2003. Community Board 5 approved, requesting that community members be part of a project advisory board established to deal with potential project problems. Borough President Marty Markowitz approved. Following a hearing on July 13, 2005, the Planning Commission voted to approve, finding that the return of the lots to private use would eliminate blight in the neighborhood.

Council: PSCH Dewitt Residence (August 17, 2005); CPC: PSCH Dewitt Residence (C 050383 HAK – UDAAP designation) (July 27, 2005). CITYADMIN

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