$56M Brooklyn Affordable Housing Opens

Built on a former parking lot, CAMBA Housing Ventures' 101-unit community was designed to achieve LEED Gold certification.
603 Mother Gaston Blvd., Brooklyn

After recently opening CAMBA Gardens Phase II in Brooklyn’s Wingate section, CAMBA Housing Ventures and CAMBA have opened 603 Mother Gaston Blvd., a $56 million affordable and supportive housing development in Brooklyn’s neighborhood of Brownsville. One of the first new construction projects at New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Van Dyke Houses in years, the property was built on the site of an underutilized parking lot.

Government partners for the development included the NYCHA, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York City Housing Development Corp. (HDC) and New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR).

“603 Mother Gaston Blvd. is proof that innovative ideas like building housing on underutilized public land are possible with wonderful public and private partners. We are incredibly grateful to the support we received from NYCHA, HDC, HPD, HCR and many others who made this development possible,” said Joanne Oplustil, president & CEO of CAMBA/CAMBA Housing Ventures Inc.

Sustainable & Supportive Services

The 101 apartments are offered in one- and two-bedroom floorplans available to residents earning less than 60 percent of the area median income. Thirty of the units are reserved for the formerly homeless and 45 are set aside for those on the NYCHA site-based wait list. Common area amenities include 24/7 front desk security, an on-site laundry room, a rooftop terrace, community art, a computer training center, two community rooms for group activities and meetings, outdoor green space and a Zimbabwean Shona Sculpture. CAMBA will also provide residents with on-site services such as financial literacy, employment services, family services, healthcare access, education and job training, as well as referrals to 160 programs and services across the city.

603 Mother Gaston Blvd. ribbon cutting

Much like CAMBA Gardens Phase II, this community was designed to achieve LEED Gold certification and Enterprise Green Communities standards. 603 Mother Gaston Blvd. utilizes Energy Star appliances and lighting to reduce costs, high-efficiency building systems, bike parking on site, day-lit common areas, healthy indoor air quality, low- and non-toxic finishes, high-efficiency flow showers, sinks and toilets for water conservation, and energy-efficient windows.

“At CAMBA Housing Ventures and CAMBA, we believe in a holistic approach to helping individuals and families, combining housing with services to create healthy, stable lives,” added Oplustil. “603 Mother Gaston Blvd. allows us to provide 101 families—many of whom were formerly homeless or on the years-long NYCHA waiting list—with stable, affordable housing. Importantly, we also provide impactful services to break the cycle of housing instability once and for all.”

Financing

The $56 million financing came from a mix of public and private investment partnerships. HDC provided more than $28.5 million in tax-exempt bonds and nearly $5 million in corporate reserves. The project benefits from low-income housing tax credits that generate more than $24.6 million in tax credit equity. HCR provided $2 million through its Home for Working Families Program. HPD provided $7.6 million in city subsidy. Corporation for Supportive Housing provided pre-development financing. NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene provides funding for the on-site social services. The Homeless Housing Assistance Corp. provided $6 million. JP Morgan Chase provided the letter of credit, RBC Capital Markers was the tax credit syndicator and Bank of New York Mellon served as the tax credit investor.

Images courtesy of Vanni Archive