Construction Underway On Henry Apartments In Ocean Hill, Brooklyn
More than half of the units in the planned two-building, 134-unit affordable housing development will serve formerly homeless families and individuals.
On-site supportive services will be available to residents in need including case management, personalized recovery programs, skills and employment training and structured social and recreational activities.
On Friday, March 20, Brooklyn community leaders and city officials joined Ocean Hill residents and business owners for the groundbreaking for The Henry Apartments, the new construction of two multi-story buildings along Broadway.
When complete, the two buildings will provide 134 affordable apartments for individuals with mental health challenges and for community members. A joint project of S:US and Alembic Community Development, the affordable apartment complex will also provide new retail space on Broadway and office space for S:US’ supportive housing services.
Of the total 134 units of affordable housing, 78 units will be set aside for formerly homeless families and individuals. The remaining units will serve extremely low- and low-income individuals and families earning anywhere from $29,400 to $50,340 annually. Residents will have access to on-site supportive services through S:US.
The current site (above) will turn into a two-building, 134-unit affordable housing development, illustrated below.
The development of this long vacant land into affordable housing will be financed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan. The plan aims to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its goal is to help address New York City’s affordability crisis by reaching more than half a million New Yorkers ranging from those with very low incomes to those in the middle class, all of whom face ever-rising rents.
“The City has committed to providing high quality affordable housing to the most vulnerable New Yorkers, including those homeless families and individuals in desperate need of a safe haven, said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. Thanks to Services for the UnderServed, Alembic Development Partners, and all of our project partners, Henry Apartments will create new homes in a supportive environment for 78 homeless families and 56 low-income families in Brooklyn.”
“HDC is proud to invest in this supportive housing development, assisting families in need with a stable environment and additional services,” said HDC President Gary Rodney. “Henry Apartments will provide future tenants not only a quality home, but the necessary tools to gain independent living. I would like to thank Alembic Community Development, Services for the UnderServed, all of our program partners and our sister agency HPD, for their continuous effort in developing much-needed housing options for all New Yorkers.”
“Since 1978, Services for the UnderServed has been devoted to addressing the complex needs of veterans and individuals and families facing multiple challenges,” S:US CEO Donna Colonna said. “This new project will allow us to meet the challenge of securing safe, decent and affordable housing for people whose lives may have been derailed by circumstances beyond their control. We are tremendously grateful to our partners and the City for helping to make the challenge of acquiring affordable housing a reality.”
“As with many affordable and supportive housing developments, Henry Apartments required many financing partners and a creative financing structure,” said Mark Reed, Principal, Alembic Community Development. “I am delighted to see construction begin and appreciative of our many financing partners – HPD, HDC, Wells Fargo Bank, The Richman Group, the Corporation for Supportive Housing and others – who helped us make this happen.”
Building A will be constructed on privately-owned land that is currently partially vacant. The new six-story building will include 55 affordable units with 40 studios, 10 one-bedrooms, and five two-bedroom units, as well as 2,500 square feet of commercial space. Building B will be located across Decatur Street from adjacent to building A and will be constructed on long vacant formerly city-owned land. The second six-story building will include 79 affordable units with 37 studios, 15 one-bedrooms, 20 two-bedrooms, and six three-bedroom units, as well as 4,500 square feet of commercial space. There will be one two-bedroom unit for the live-in superintendent. Building amenities will include laundry facilities, two elevators per building as well as bicycle parking spaces located in the buildings’ cellars. Each building will feature a landscaped outdoor recreation space with seating and tables, as well as an area designated for urban farming.
“I’m proud to stand with everyone today and celebrate the start of construction on this latest addition to our wonderful community,” Community Board 16 Chair Bettie Kollock-Wallace said. “This development transforms a vacant lot into a productive part of Ocean Hill. I thank all those who helped make this happen.”
All units in Henry Apartments will be affordable to very low- and low-income families with a preference for formerly homeless families and individuals. The complete development will include 106 units affordable to households earning at or below 50 percent of the Area Median Income, or an annual income of no more than $29,400 for an individual or $41,950 for a family of four. The remaining 27 units will be affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income, or an annual income of no more than $35,280 for an individual or $50,340 for a family of four. A grand total of 78 units will be reserved for formerly homeless families in this development. Rents for these units will be subsidized with Project-based Section 8 vouchers. Residents will be expected to contribute 30 percent of their monthly income toward rent payments. The income levels for this development were set according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s 2014 calculations.
On-site supportive services available to residents of Henry Apartments will be provided by S:US. Services will include individualized case management and personalized recovery programs based on identified needs. Daily life skills training, employment training and job placement services, and structured social and recreation activities will also be offered to the building’s residents.
“This development demonstrates the flexibility of the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit and its ability to foster tremendous creativity in helping community development organizations meet the diverse needs of their communities – in this case, combining supportive housing for formerly homeless individuals, low-income housing for families and neighborhood commercial space in an attractive setting, in a neighborhood experiencing a rapid increase in the cost of housing”, said Noel Henderson-James, Vice-President, Richman Housing Resources. “We are delighted once again to partner with the City, Wells Fargo and Alembic Community Development to help make this happen.”
“CSH is proud to have given early stage predevelopment capital to the Henry Apartments which will provide much needed affordable housing for the community and supportive housing for veterans, families and individuals that are homeless, or at-risk of homelessness, and facing multiple challenges. We also congratulate S:US for this important new chapter in the organization’s growth and mission,” said Jennifer Trepinski, Loan Officer, Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH).
The total development cost of Henry Apartments is approximately $61.9 million. HDC will provide $30.5 in tax exempt bonds and $8.7 million in 421a Funds towards construction financing. HPD will provide over $24 million in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and $10 million in HOME Funds towards permanent financing. The project will also receive NYSERDA Multi-Family Performance Benefits in the amount of $100,000. Richman Housing Resources will act as tax credit syndicator and Wells Fargo will act as lender.
Click here to view pictures from the groundbreaking ceremony, attended by Diana Reyna, Deputy Borough President, Brooklyn; Darlene Mealy, New York City Council Member, District #41; Jessica Katz, Assistant Commissioner for Special Needs Housing, New York City Housing Preservation and Development; Paula Roy Carethers, Executive Vice President of Real Estate, New York City Housing Development Corporation; Bettie Kollock-Wallace, Chair, Community Board #16; Noel Henderson-James, Vice President, Richman Housing Resources; Mark Reed, Principal, Alembic Community Development; Page Travelstead, Vice President & Senior Relationship Manager, Wells Fargo Bank; and Jennifer Trepinski, Loan Officer, Corporation for Supportive Housing.