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Breaking Ground: Revolutionary Brownsville Housing Project is Paving the Way for Affordable Climate Friendly Living

The new development will create 216 permanently affordable housing units at 326 Rockaway Avenue.

Construction of 216 new affordable housing units is now underway at 326 Rockaway Ave. in Brownsville.

“New York City is facing a housing crisis. Every new apartment and new building we can build means giving more of our neighbors a safe, affordable and stable home,” said John Valladares, managing director at Slate Property Group.

The new development is a product of Slate Property Group in partnership with RiseBoro Community Partnership, a local nonprofit organization. 

“We’ve worked with our RiseBoro partners to design a building that will feel like a true community. This is a project that’s going to make its residents and its neighbors here in Brownsville proud,” Valladares added. 

The new complex will house 216 permanently affordable apartments. The units will range from studio to three-bedroom apartments. 

Of the 216 units, 130 will serve formerly homeless individuals, one unit will be reserved for the on-site superintendent and the remaining 85 affordable units will be allocated as outlined below:

  • 34 units for families earning below 60% of Area Median Income (AMI)
  • 51 units for families earning below 50% of AMI
  • Preference will be given to residents of Brooklyn Community Board 16

“All New Yorkers deserve housing they can afford and be proud of and 326 Rockway provides both. At a time when affordability and climate change are two of the biggest issues facing our city, we're proud to work with Slate to chip away at both of these existential crises,” said Scott Short, CEO of RiseBoro.

The new development will also include a number of amenities, including classroom space, community and recreational rooms, children’s playroom, bike storage and a yoga and fitness studio. 

On the exterior, the building will offer a roof terrace, outdoor recreational areas, gardening spaces, outdoor nature play and social areas. 

Additionally, the complex will include a 3,800 square foot community facility and 1,600 square feet of ground-floor retail. 

Expert staff from RiseBoro will also be offering on-site social services for residents. The services will include:

  • Case management and service planning
  • Counseling and crisis intervention
  • Life skills and needs assessments
  • Support for families’ referrals for employment 
  • Education opportunities
  • Opportunities for community engagement and leadership

RiseBoro staff will also be providing mentoring and empowerment services in collaboration with its education program. 

A groundbreaking event was held on May 31, to mark the start of construction for the project. A number of city officials were in attendance, including Jessica Katz, the city's chief housing officer. 

“326 Rockaway Avenue demonstrates how we are able to create housing for low-income and formerly homeless New Yorkers while also working toward our city’s climate goals,” Katz said.  

    The new building is designed by Aufgang Architects with sustainability top of mind. 

    The building is all electric with no fossil fuel used for heating and operation. Additionally, the roof is outfitted with solar panels.

    Project coordinators are aiming to meet Enterprise Green Communities and passive house standards, as well as targeting PHIUS Certification. 

    “326 Rockaway not only provides much-needed affordable housing and services for the Brownsville community, but will also be designed to passive house standards, reducing carbon emissions in one of the city’s most climate vulnerable neighborhoods,” said Dan Alger, a managing director with Goldman Sachs. “This important project is a model of public and private sector collaboration and we are thrilled to be partnering with Slate, RiseBoro and our public partners.”

    The project is projected to cost a total of $146 million, which is being funded through the NYC 15/15 Program, a rental assistance program that assists eligible families or individuals that are homeless or at risk of homelessness. 

    Additional funding for the project has also been provided by the following: 

    • Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
    • Tax-exempt bonds
    • New York City Housing Development Corporation
    • New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development
    • Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group within Goldman Sachs Asset Management

    Construction of the new building is expected to be complete by 2025 with leasing of the units beginning next year. 

    For additional information, click here