The Evangelical Crusade of Fishers of Men were joined by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Councilmember Jumaane Williams and Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte on Sunday to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new low-income senior housing development in East Flatbush.
The Flatbush congregation decided to expand their ministry to provide shelter that will enable seniors to age in peace, said Rev. Dr. Samuel Nicolas, the church’s senior pastor.
“The Bishop Philius and Helene Nicolas Senior Residence Project is our answer to God’s call to serve the community and meet a fundamental human need — shelter,” said Rev. Nicolas. “God has rewarded our faith by bringing to fruition a project that we’ve been speaking about for the past 12 years. This building will enable us to expand our capacity to help our neighbors live a better life.”
Named after the church’s founding bishop and first lady, The Bishop Philius and Helene Nicolas Senior Residence will provide 88 affordable studios for seniors ages 62 and older earning less than 50 percent of the area median income. Located at 1488 New York Avenue, the development will also include a community room, common area space, laundry facilities and on-site social services. A 10,575-square-foot community facility located on the first and cellar levels will provide geriatric primary care services.
The $45-million project is made possible with funding from Borough President Adams, Councilmember Williams, the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and Bank of America.
“Seniors are among those most hurt by the affordable housing and homelessness crisis in our city, with landlords that take advantage of them and rents that skyrocket due to gentrification,” said Williams. “I’ve been proud to support this project that will provide much-needed housing for seniors in my community, and I want to thank Pastor Nicolas and ECCC for taking up this cause to address an urgent problem we face, as well as Borough President Adams and all of the entities helping to fund this essential project.”
The building will be developed by BEL Community Housing LLC, which is a partnership between Brisa Builders Development LLC; Evergreen City LLC, an M/WBE affordable housing development group; and Lemle & Wolff Dev. Co, and was designed by Heritage Architecture and Rodney Leon Architects. Construction is expected to be completed by spring 2020.