HPD Announces Selection of Plan and Partners for New Affordable Housing Development in Bed-Stuy

Rendering of design for the Steps at Saratoga. Image Credit: MARVEL Architects/HPD.

On January 12, 2023, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development announced the selection of a plan and partners for the creation of a new affordable housing development for seniors and low-income families in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The development, “The Steps at Saratoga,” will also be the first New York City development to build a community-owned local network plant to provide more affordable internet access to local residents and businesses.The team selected includes RiseBoro, IMPACCT Brooklyn and Urbane Development, and designs from minority-owned architecture firm MARVEL. The site is currently a vacant lot. 

The development will have two buildings and approximately 238 affordable units. Of those, 158 are expected for low-income families and 80 for seniors. The senior housing will be available at up to 50 percent area median income and the low-income units will be between 30 to 80 percent area median income. Approximately 49 units will be for formerly homeless households. 

The development will have open spaces between the family and senior buildings, including backyard space, community gardens, and a landscaped rooftop terrace. The senior building also has a communal laundry room, wellness room and a computer room. Supportive services will be provided by RiseBoro, including case management, crisis intervention, and other counseling and advocacy measures. 

The development team also wants to create a central hub where residents and the community can access wellness programs. Some of these programs include: 

  • The Central Brooklyn Food Cooperative, a Black-led community project to promote and ensure access to affordable and fresh food to low- and moderate-income Black communities, will operate a ground-floor food retail store
  • the Saratoga Food Incubator will operate a demonstration kitchen to educate about food, and a commercial kitchen to develop local businesses
  • Beautifully Fed Food, a women-of-color and worker-owned cooperative will work on projects with both Saratoga Food Incubator and Central Brooklyn Food Cooperative
  • the Brooklyn Packers, a Black-led food distribution worker coop that will us cellar space to expand warehousing and distribution of food in the community. 
  • The Isabahlia Ladies of Elegance Foundation will tend to a greenhouse on site
  • RiverSpring Health Plans will operate an all-inclusive Care for the Elderly Center on the ground floor

Additional space will be offered to help develop local businesses through coaching, merchant support and space. 

No date was provided by HPD in regards to when the project is anticipated to break ground or be completed. 

HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. stated, “The Steps at Saratoga is an outstanding proposal bringing a wellness and healing focus to housing Brooklyn’s older New Yorkers, working families, and formerly homeless New Yorkers – those in need of truly affordable housing. This winning proposal was put forward by RiseBoro, IMPACCT Brooklyn, and Urbane Development – a team made up of non-profits and a Black-owned development firm with deep roots in Brooklyn. Congratulations to the team, and we look forward to all the next steps for The Steps at Saratoga.”

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso stated, “The Steps at Saratoga’ will help redefine what responsible building looks like in our borough. With a firm commitment to affordability, public health, and community connections, this proposal responds to the needs of the neighborhood and challenges the status quo of new developments. I’m so grateful to HPD, RiseBoro, IMPACCT Brooklyn, and Urbane Development for teaming up with members of our community to create more homes, foster food security, and turn an empty lot in Bed-Stuy into a model for all of Brooklyn.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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