Affordable housing set for Crown Heights site with rents from $375
A new affordable housing project is coming to Crown Heights, with some units reserved for the formerly homeless and seniors, and rents beginning as low as $375 per month.
The Settlement Housing Fund, the lead co-developer and a social services provider, and Beechwood Homes, the general contractor and co-developer, are constructing a 45-unit all-affordable building called Weeksville Place on property the city has owned for three decades or more. Twenty-six apartments will be reserved for seniors.
Executives from the development team and their architect revealed details of their project to Community Board 8’s Housing Committee on Wednesday night.
The development site stretches across three lots of which the city is disposing in the Weeksville section of Crown Heights: 1559, 1561 and 1563 Prospect Place. According to city Finance Department records, the City of New York foreclosed on these properties (over the course of 1979-1985) when the owners did not pay property taxes.
Settlement Housing Fund President Alexa Sewell told CB8’s Housing Committee the apartment buildings her organization develops typically devote 30 percent of their units to tenants who are leaving the shelter system. At Weeksville Place, eight units will be reserved for formerly homeless people.
Affordable units at Weeksville Place are for tenants with annual incomes equal to 30 percent to 80 percent of area median income, or AMI. For instance, seniors at 30 percent AMI would have annual household incomes of $19,230. Their maximum net rents for studios would be $377 per month.
An affordable-housing lottery will be held to select tenants for all the apartments except those for formerly homeless people, who will be referred by the city to Weeksville Place.
The eight-story building will have a facade of brick and precast concrete panels and a 2,500 square-foot backyard with lush plantings.
The lots at 1559-1561-1563 Prospect Place are especially deep because their dimensions were drawn up when the neighborhood was filled with farms, said Andrew Knox of architecture firm Edelman Sultan Knox Wood.
One board member noticed that a project rendering shows window air conditioners in the building. The architect said the air conditioners will have caps to cover them in cold weather.
They’re energy-efficient enough to meet the requirements of the environmentally-conscious Enterprise Green Communities program, to which Weeksville Place’s design adheres.
The joint-venture team obtained the right to develop the Prospect Place site in April 2018 through the city’s Neighborhood Construction Program request for quotes process.
The development team is working through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, which they hope to complete by mid-2020, before scheduled completion in January 2023.
Usually, developers go through the ULURP process when they are seeking zoning changes to increase the height or density of their building design — which Weeksville Place is not. But it is a property being disposed of by the city, which also triggers the process.
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