Brooklyn gets 58 New Units of Affordable Senior Housing

The 13-story building in the Lefferts Gardens neighborhood has senior-friendly design elements and on-site social services.

333 Lenox Road ribbon cutting. Image courtesy of New York State Homes and Community Renewal

A $20 million affordable and supportive housing development at 333 Lenox Road in the Lefferts Garden neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., has been completed and provides 58 units for seniors in a building designed to meet the needs of aging residents. 

The development team is a joint venture between non-profit Selfhelp Community Services and The Briarwood Org., a Queens, N.Y.-based company that has been building affordable and workforce housing in New York City since 1912.

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The new building for seniors is part of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s $20 billion, five-year housing plan to address statewide housing issues and build or preserve more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 homes with supportive services. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) has invested more than $10 billion in the New York City region and has created or preserved affordable housing for more than 100,000 residents, including more than 15,300 apartments for at least 41,000 Brooklyn residents.

State financing for the property includes federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that generated $14.5 million in equity from HCR. The New York State Department of Health is providing rental subsidies for the ESSHI units. Additional funding was provided by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Federal Home Loan Bank.

The 13-story building has 24 studios and 33 one-bedroom apartments. All apartments are occupied by seniors with incomes at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI). Nine of the households will receive rental assistance from the New York Governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative and eight will receive project-based Section 8 rental assistance.

Model housing 

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said in a prepared statement the 333 Lenox Road development should serve as a model for senior housing in the borough because it is providing affordable housing to the growing aging population along with a comprehensive suite of services for the aging residents.

The building has senior-friendly designs including emergency pull cords, grab bars in the bathrooms, roll-in showers and motion-sensor activated lights. All units have modern kitchens and energy-efficient appliances. Community amenities include a recreational rooftop garden, computer lab, storage and laundry facilities, community spaces, and closed-circuit TV surveillance in common areas. Social work services will be provided through the Selfhelp Active Services for Aging Model (SHASAM). Activities organized by an on-site social worker will provide recreational, educational and wellness services. The building is located near two subway stations and the SUNY Downstate Medical facility and is a short walk to Prospect Park.

Selfhelp was founded in 1936 to assist people fleeing Nazi Germany. The new building at 333 Lenox Road will be named The Joseph and Pauline Charatan Residence in honor of the late parents of Selfhelp Community Services Foundation Vice-Chair Deborah Lee Charatan. Her parents were Holocaust survivors.

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