Brooklyn Affordable Community Breaks Ground

Trinity Financial Inc. and the New York City Housing Authority are bringing the 180-unit property to the borough's Brownsville neighborhood.
Van Dyke III. Rendering courtesy of SLCE Architects

Real estate developer Trinity Financial Inc. and the New York City government have broken ground on a 12-story, 180-unit affordable housing development in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. The new project, Van Dyke III, will add to the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)’s Van Dyke Houses campus, a sprawling collection of 23 brick buildings originally developed in the 1940s and ‘50s.

Located at 405 Dumont Ave., the building will deliver a mix of 56 studios, 52 one-bedroom units, 43 two-bedroom units, and 28 three-bedroom units, serving low-income and extremely low-income households. Fifty-four units will be reserved for formerly homeless households through Mayor de Blasio’s NYC 15/15 supportive housing initiative. Nonprofit organization CAMBA will provide support services for these individuals.

The project comes after CAMBA and its development arm CAMBA Housing Ventures expanded Van Dyke Houses by building 603 Mother Gaston Blvd., a $56 million affordable and supportive housing community with 101 apartments. The sustainable building, which opened in May of last year, marked the first new-construction property at the housing campus in decades.

City, feds back project

Completion of Van Dyke III is expected in the spring of 2021. Amenities will include a computer lab, fitness room, and accessible roof deck, along with a variety of community spaces and a ground-floor recreational area. The project is also expected to house a daycare center operated by the Friends of Crown Heights and a community health clinic run by the Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center.

The project is being financed under the Extremely Low- and Low-Income Affordability (ELLA) program of the New York City Housing Development Corp. (HDC) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). HDC provided $46.7 million in tax-exempt bonds and $11.7 million in corporate reserves, while HPD chipped in $23.4 million in City Capital.

The development is also receiving a total of $39.2 million in tax credit equity via benefits from low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC). Brooklyn Borough President provided $800,000 in Resolution A funds. Goldman Sachs was the tax-credit investor and Citi Community Capital provided a standby letter of credit.

Homelessness is widespread in Brownsville, a residential neighborhood in eastern Brooklyn where one out of five children and families are living in shelters.