City opening lottery for dozens of affordable units in new Coney building

Coming soon: A new development will bring 134 below-market-rate apartments — with more than 80 earmarked for formerly homeless veterans — to Coney Island by January.
Concern for Independent Living

There’s no place like a new home for the holidays!

Eligible locals can apply for dozens of below-market-rate units inside a new Coney Island building via the city’s housing lottery starting on Dec. 27.

Builders of the in-progress, mixed-use Surf Vets Place complex on W. 21st Street near Surf Avenue set aside 52 units inside it for locals making between 50 and 60 percent of the area median income, who can submit online applications for the apartments through March 4 once the lottery opens.

Twenty-four of the apartments will be set aside for residents who earn 50 percent of the area median income, which is $41,750 for a two-person household or $52,150 for a four-person household, according to city data.

The other 28 units are for locals making 60 percent of the area median income, which data shows is $50,100 for a two-person household or $62,580 for a four-person household.

Following the application period, the housing-lottery system will randomly choose occupants based on eligibility and individuals whose requests the city prioritizes, such as people with disabilities and municipal employees.

Locals may not hear back about the status of their requests for up to ten months following the close of the application period, if they hear back at all, according to officials with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which manages the lottery system.

Architects contracted by Surf Vets Place’s developer filed plans for the nine-story tower containing 134 total units and nearly two basketball courts’ worth of ground-floor retail space back in April 2016.

The building’s other 82 units are specifically earmarked for formerly homeless veterans, who could begin applying for those apartments back in November through the city’s online supportive-housing lottery, which is managed by the Human Resources Administration.

Following that application period, that agency will forward eligible veterans’ requests for the units to the Department of Veterans Services, and then to leaders of the Concern for Independent Living, the organization that will help the city dole out the apartments based on factors including financial qualifications, household size, proof of a need for housing, and a criminal background check, according to Concern honcho Elizabeth Lunde, who previously told this newspaper that Surf Vets Place’s developer Georgica Green Ventures plans to finish construction on the property next month.

The so-called affordable units are required in the development because it sits within the special Coney Island District, a product of the area’s 2009 rezoning, which mandates that builders set aside 35 percent of units in complexes within the district for low and moderate-income families who earn between 51 percent and 120 percent of the area’s median income, which comes out to between $53,193 and $125,160 for a four-person household.

Reach reporter Julianne McShane at (718) 260–2523 or by e-mail at jmcshane@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @juliannemcshane.

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