Construction Begins at 103-Unit Affordable Housing Project in Brooklyn

New York, N.Y.–CPC Resources (CPCR) and East Brooklyn Congregations (EBC), along with New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) and the New York City Housing Development Corp. (HDC) broke ground on a 103-unit affordable housing project in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, N.Y. Located on former HPD-owned land along Watkins Street, this project will be developed using CPCR’s unique Infill Housing Model – a prototype for building affordable housing that is designed specifically to fit R-6 zoning, which is prevalent in residential neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. As the development arm of The Community Preservation Corporation, CPCR will oversee all aspects of the development and construction of the project until the apartments are fully leased at which point East Brooklyn Congregation will assume control.  “In the early 1980’s East Brooklyn Congregations formed a plan to provide low- and middle- income families with affordable housing options in East Brooklyn,” says Michael Lappin, president and CEO of CPC Resources and The Community Preservation Corporation. Comprised of 13 four-story apartment buildings that will rise side-by-side on vacant land fronting Watkins Street between Newport and Lott Avenue, 100 of the development’s units will be affordable to families earning 60 percent of the HUD Income Limits (HUDIL), or $46,100 for a family of four ($32,300 for an individual). The remaining three affordable units will be set aside for families earning just 50 percent HUDIL, ($38,400 for a family of four or $27,000 for an individual). “Developments like this are a lesson that well-conceived and properly financed affordable housing development can continue and is continuing, even in the face of the current credit market,” says HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero. The New York City Housing Development Corp. (HDC) will finance the construction of the Watkins Street buildings by issuing $14.5 million in tax-exempt bonds and lending $5.9 million in low-interest subsidy from its corporate reserves. HDC, the largest issuer of tax-exempt housing bonds in the nation, has helped to finance more than 41,000 units of affordable housing over the past six years under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan. Over the past quarter century, East Brooklyn Congregations has been responsible for the transformation of many vacant blocks in East New York and Brownsville with the construction of nearly 3,000 units of housing. The Watkins Street development will be composed of 35 one-bedroom, 57 two-bedroom, and 11 three-bedroom units with an additional unit set aside for the superintendent.  There will be on-site laundry facilities, outdoor recreation space and 22 on-site parking spaces.The total development cost is projected to be $28.5 million. In addition to HDC financing, HPD will provide $6.3 million in City Capital and HOME funds subsidy through the Low Income Rental Program. During construction, the bonds will be backed by a letter of credit from Chase Community Development Banking.  $10 million tax credit equity will be syndicated through the RBC Tax Credit Equity Group.           A lottery will be held to select tenants for the apartments. Lottery applications will be released in the spring of 2010.