Housing Agency Staff to Work Alongside New Homeowners to Build Agency-Funded “Green” Homes
BROOKLYN, NY, OCT. 19—Top officials from the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation “put their muscle where their money is” today by Helping Habitat for Humanity – New York City build homes in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn.
Priscilla Almodovar, AHC President and Chief Executive Officer, and her staff wielded screw guns and framed walls in some of the 41 low-cost, environmentally friendly condos that are rising on a longvacant lot at Atlantic Avenue and Eastern Parkway. Working alongside them were future homeowners who contribute “sweat equity” in lieu of down payments.
The NYS Affordable Housing Corporation (AHC) is providing a $1.64 million grant to help finance the $13 million development. AHC is the largest funder of this complex, which will be home to lowincome working New Yorkers.
“I am thrilled that our agency’s staff volunteers and I have the opportunity to roll up our sleeves and join Habitat – NYC to help build these affordable and energy-efficient condominiums in Brooklyn,” said Almodovar. “Using our muscle to support our public mission demonstrates our commitment to create affordable homeownership opportunities for working-class New Yorkers across the state.”
“Habitat-NYC is pleased to welcome AHC,” said Josh Lockwood, Acting Executive Director of Habitat-NYC. “As the largest multifamily project ever constructed by Habitat for Humanity anywhere in the world, our Atlantic Avenue complex is an example of the passion and commitment that Governor Spitzer, Priscilla Almodovar and AHC bring to addressing our city’s—and our state’s— affordable housing crisis.”
Building with AHC members was Miguel Baez, a future Atlantic Avenue homeowner who currently shares a small basement apartment with his wife Mirian and their two-year-old son. Baez, who works in security and as a porter in a Manhattan residential building, spends nearly half his income on rent. “This home is my son’s future,” he said.
Habitat for Humanity-New York City Chairman Les Bluestone and Habitat-NYC Board Member Karim Hutson also welcomed Almodovar and her staff to the site. Both are affordable housing developers. Bluestone is a principal of Blue Sea Development Company, LLC. Hutson is a partner and co-founder of the Genesis Partners Real Property. LLC.
The Atlantic Avenue condominiums are among 107 units of affordable homeownership housing that have been developed with $3.55 million in AHC grants in partnership with Habitat-NYC. AHC’s Atlantic Avenue grant was awarded to Habitat-NYC through its partnership with the Housing Partnership Development Corporation.
The complex is located at 1870 Eastern Parkway at Atlantic Avenue in Ocean Hill-Brownsville, Brooklyn.
The development is part of a pilot project with U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Homes (LEED-H) certification. It is also registered for Energy Star certification. The development will feature Energy Star appliances and lighting fixtures, highefficiency boilers and energy-efficient windows, which will contribute to an estimated 30% savings on homeowners’ utility bills. The materials being used in construction are non-toxic and sustainable. The surrounding grounds will be landscaped with drought-resistant plants and permeable paving.
The subsidized prices for the one-, two-, and three-bedroom condominiums are expected to range between $70,000 and $160,000. Eligible homebuyers must earn between 45% and 80% of the Area Median Income for New York City. They will not be required to make a down payment, but instead must contribute 300 hours of labor per adult on the construction of the home.
AHC, a subsidiary of the NYS Housing Finance Agency, was established in 1985 to promote homeownership by low- and moderate-income households. Financial assistance approved annually by the New York State Legislature, combined with other private and public investment, is used for the construction, acquisition, rehabilitation, and improvement of owner-occupied housing.
Habitat for Humanity-New York City transforms lives and our city by uniting all New Yorkers around the cause of decent, affordable housing. With the help of an average of 10,000 volunteers every year, Habitat-NYC has built more than 170 affordable homes in the five boroughs of New York City.