Construction begins on $72 million Nevins St. Apartments development

July 02, 2019 - Front Section

Brooklyn, NY According to governor Cuomo, construction has started on Nevins St. Apartments, a $72 million mixed-use affordable and supportive housing development downtown. The development complex includes the gut rehabilitation of a century-old building and the new construction of an adjacent ten-story building. Nevins St. Apartments will offer 129 affordable apartments, including 78 supportive homes reserved for individuals with mental illness and 3,100 s/f of commercial space. The redevelopment of this site will preserve affordable housing in the area and modernize the existing apartments to current standards. 

“Mixed-use and supportive housing are a vital component of our overall efforts to increase affordable housing across the state and combat homelessness in communities,” governor Cuomo said. “Nevins St. Apartments will increase access to safe, affordable homes and services for some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers while contributing to a more vibrant and healthier downtown Brooklyn.”

The governor’s commitment to providing all New Yorkers with access to safe, affordable housing is reflected in the state’s $20 billion, five-year housing plan. The plan makes housing accessible and combats homelessness by building or preserving more than 100,000 affordable homes and 6,000 with supportive services. The plan is a comprehensive approach to statewide housing issues and includes multifamily and single-family housing and community development. Since 2011, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has invested more than $2 billion to create or preserve nearly 15,000 affordable homes and apartments in Brooklyn. 

Nevins St. Apartments includes the rehabilitation of an existing building originally constructed in 1912-13 as a single room occupancy by the YWCA for single women. Over the last 30 years, the Institute for Community Living has operated the building as an Office of Mental Health licensed transitional housing facility. The redevelopment will convert the existing single rooms to self-contained apartments.

The newly constructed 10-story building will be built on an adjacent parking lot. The design calls for the two buildings to be fully integrated and will share a single core. Building amenities include common laundry facilities, 24/7 front desk security, a community room, a gym with yoga room and a classroom. 

All apartments are affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income. There is one apartment reserved for a superintendent. Of the 129 apartments, 78 will be reserved for formerly homeless individuals, including those with a serious mental illness, substance abuse disorder, veterans and young adults. They will have access to the Institute for Community Living’s comprehensive onsite support services including counseling, safety planning, public benefits management and advocacy, parenting and life skills, family reunification and stabilization, health education, social and recreational services and linkage to community services. 

The residential complex is located at 50 Nevins St. between Schermerhorn and State Sts. The retail space will face Schermerhorn St., a commercial corridor. Residents will have access to nearby transit and services including shopping, medical care and public facilities. 

State financing for the development includes $13.5 million in tax-exempt bonds, federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $27.3 million in equity and $9 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Office of Mental Health will provide $1.9 million annually for rental assistance and services for the supportive units through the governor’s Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development provided $9.6 million from the Supportive Housing Loan Program. The New York State attorney general is providing $1 million in funds from property owner settlements. The developer is the Institute for Community Living. Additional financial support is being provided by Richman Housing Resources, HSBC and TD Bank.

“This new housing development is continuing to increase the number of affordable units for residents in Brooklyn, especially for communities that are more vulnerable to homelessness,” said lieutenant governor Kathy Hochul. “The Nevins St. Apartments will provide affordable, quality apartments with a focus on individuals in need of support services. The project complements our Vital Brooklyn initiative to break down barriers to housing and health care, and continues our efforts to strengthen the local economy and enhance quality of life for all New Yorkers in Brooklyn and beyond.”

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