New York City Council Member Inez Barron and New York State Assemblymember Charles Barron joined the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York City Housing Development Corporation, East Brooklyn Congregations (EBC), Monadnock Development, and local leaders and residents for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the Senior Building of Nehemiah Spring Creek Phase 4B-2. The Senior Building is located at 516 Schroeders Avenue in East New York and is welcoming its first residents. Rev. Dr. David K. Brawley, Co Chair of EBC, led the event, sharing the history that has driven this multi-phase development and previewing its future. Ms. Olivia Wilkins, a longtime resident of the community, a senior herself, and an EBC leader who has advocated for affordable housing for seniors, also joined in celebrated the opening.
“Today, we celebrate. For over 40 years, East Brooklyn Congregations has organized thousands of New Yorkers to fight for affordable housing with and for our seniors. Today, we see the transformation. We see what can be. Today, EBC commits to stand together with our partners to ensure that thousands of other seniors get the affordable housing they desperately need and deserve,” said Rev. Dr. Brawley.
Nehemiah Spring Creek Phase 4B-2 is the latest in a sprawling, multiphase partnership in East New York, Brooklyn between Nehemiah Housing Development Fund Company (an affiliate of EBC) and Monadnock Development. After four phases of building hundreds of affordable homes for sale, Phases 4B-1 and 4B-2 represent the first 400 of a proposed 1200 affordable rental units to be built over the next five years. Phase 4B-2 is comprised of 240 units of low income rental housing, 2,180 sq. ft. of community facility space, and 4,615 sq. ft. of commercial space.
“I am pleased to join in celebrating the fruits of our labor,” said City Council Member Inez Barron. “It has taken so much collaborative work to get here and it is wonderful to see, today, this tangible improvement to the community that delivers equity to the seniors in our city.”
“We see East New York on the rise here,” said New York State Assemblymember Charles Barron. “Creating homeownership opportunities in Nehemiah Spring Creek has made East New York the place to be. And now this housing, that serves our seniors, who are so deserving of the best, is giving them exactly what they deserve: our best.”
Phase 4B-2 includes 20, 4-story octets (8-unit buildings) comprising 160 units and a 7-story, 80-unit Senior Building, where the community facility and commercial space are located. Centered around Schroeders Avenue, the octets stretch out from the Senior Building, which is located on the southwest corner of Schroeders Avenue and Elton Street, bounded by the Gateway Shopping Center to the south. The octets are 148,919 sq. ft. and the Senior Building is 74,984 sq. ft., for a total project size of 223,903 sq. ft. The exteriors of the octets match the colorful brick and siding patterns of Nehemiah Spring Creek, while the Senior Building sports a multicolor brick exterior to match the adjacent mid-rises along Elton Street.
“From affordable homeownership opportunities to the 80 new senior homes we are celebrating today, the Nehemiah Spring Creek project continues to provide transformative affordable housing to the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “From day one, this administration has prioritized senior housing and we are proud to partner with HDC, EBC, Monadnock Development and our elected officials to deliver much needed affordable housing for New Yorkers who helped make our city great.”
“Thank you to all our partners for their dedication to this project, which has been decades in the making. Nehemiah Spring Creek is an expansive, multi-phased development that will revitalize the surrounding East New York neighborhood and benefit its residents for years to come,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “HDC is proud to be a part of this effort to provide 80 senior households with affordable and stable homes.”
The earliest work to create Nehemiah Spring Creek began in 1982, finally leading to a groundbreaking in 2008. Since then, the pace of change has been staggering with Phases 1-3 making affordable homeownership possible for thousands of qualifying New York City residents. Phase 4A has continued that effort, while 4B has begun to create affordable rental options in the community. Future phases anticipate at least an additional 800 affordable rental units. Along with the continued expansion of the Gateway Shopping Center, Nehemiah Spring Creek has completely transformed this corner of Brooklyn and created a quality of life and vibrancy that has been otherwise difficult to access for low-income New Yorkers. This is especially true when considering the options that New York City’s oldest residents would face without a building like this.
“Today’s ribbon-cutting has been decades in the making, and creates important options for housing for our seniors, who are both among the most vulnerable New Yorkers, and among the most treasured community members,” said Kirk Goodrich, President of Monadnock Development. “We are grateful to our partners at EBC, HPD, and HDC, our financial partners, and the leaders and community of East New York for sharing this important vision and making it possible!”
“Living in Redwod Senior Living has changed my life, but others deserve the opportunities afforded to me,” said Ms. Wilkins. “I will continue to fight for more AFFORDABLE senior housing in this city, because everyone deserves to spend their golden years in dignity. This building in Nehemiah Spring Creek is a symbol and example of what we can do when we recognize our obligation to our senior community, and I’m excited for the residents who will be moving in soon!”
While the application period for this building has ended, interested New Yorkers can learn about other Affordable Housing opportunities throughout the City through NYC Housing Connect (https://housingconnect.nyc.gov/).