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New 100% affordable building opens in Brownsville, with 179 units on NYCHA land

The recently completed Van Dyke III development on NYCHA land in Brownsville
Photo by Leticia Barboza for NYCHA

The city announced Wednesday that construction has been completed on the Van Dyke III houses in Brownsville, bringing 179 new units to the neighborhood in a 100 percent affordable development.

Van Dyke III sits on land at the New York City Housing Authority’s Van Dyke Campus on Dumont Ave between Mother Gaston Blvd and Powell St, developed under the infill process where the financially-embattled NYCHA can lease “underutilized” land to private developers and bring in much-needed cash.

The land that is now Van Dyke III was formerly home to two parking lots and a row of dumpsters.

The 12-story development was spearheaded by Trinity Financial, in partnership with NYCHA, the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

“Van Dyke III shows what is possible when we put underused NYCHA land to work hosting housing and community facilities that support both NYCHA residents and the broader community,” said Deputy Mayor Vicki Been in a statement.

The 179 units are designated for those making between 30-60 percent of the area median income, with eligible annual incomes ranging from $15,086 to $84,600. Studios range from $367 to $837, one-bedrooms go from $471 to $1,058, two-bedrooms rent from $575 to $1,280, and three-bedrooms are leasing from $658 to $1,472. The lottery to snag one of the apartments opened up last year.

Thirty-one of the apartments will be set aside for NYCHA residents, while 54 are for formerly homeless individuals from the area. Local nonprofit CAMBA will provide on-site social services, while residents can also utilize an in-house daycare, community health center, computer lab, fitness center, and a roof deck.

A spokesperson for NYCHA distinguished Van Dyke III from other infill projects by noting that the new abode is 100 percent affordable, unlike the market-rate buildings usually proposed for such sites. The use of infill to build market-rate apartments has been controversial, with residents and advocates often objecting to the development of market-rate units on land owned by the public housing authority. NYCHA has sought to use infill to generate revenue for addressing its capital needs, which number in the billions of dollars, but its use has largely stalled owing to community opposition.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, a Brooklynite, has secured $65 billion in the latest iteration of President Joe Biden’s social spending program Build Back Better, much of which would go to addressing NYCHA’s $40 billion in needed repair and refurbishment work, Politico reports. Jockeying in Washington could feasibly cause that to evaporate, however. NYCHA properties house over 400,000 New Yorkers, by far the most populated public housing system in the country.

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