$39 million project repurposes underutilized space into permanently affordable housing as part of Brooklyn revitalization effort

On march 9, 2022, construction began on a $39 million affordable and supportive housing redevelopment project as part of the state of New York‘s $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn Initiative.

Located in the revitalized Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood, The Hart will include 57 sustainable and permanently affordable apartments with 38 supportive homes for chronically homeless seniors and families. In addition, The Hart will be home to a mental health outpatient program and a new primary care center to be operated by One Brooklyn Health.

New York State Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said, “As the COVID-19 pandemic further highlighted the inequalities among underserved New Yorkers, through the Vital Brooklyn initiative, we are better addressing these needs by converting the underutilized space of the former Interfaith Medical Center’s mental health outpatient program into affordable housing and programming to better serve chronically homeless seniors and families.”

New York’s $1.4 billion Vital Brooklyn initiative is targeting and investing in eight integrated areas, from health care to housing, establishing a new standard for addressing chronic economic and racial disparities in Brooklyn’s high-need communities.

Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “The Hart is an aptly named and exciting development that incorporates sustainable design elements and a holistic approach to helping 57 households achieve housing stability and economic empowerment. On top of that, the development will deliver much-needed mental health and primary care services to the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood. We are proud to partner with CAMBA Housing Ventures on this $39 million project that is part of the State’s innovative Vital Brooklyn initiative, and we are grateful for the support from Governor Hochul, our sister agencies, and One Brooklyn Health System. Central Brooklyn’s communities deserve smart, thoughtful and transformative investments like The Hart.

The Vital Brooklyn initiative will ultimately create 4000 affordable homes in Central Brooklyn’s neighborhoods. Governor Hochul is building on this successful effort with a proposal for a new $25 billion, five-year Housing Plan that will create and preserve an additional 100,000 affordable homes across New York including 10,000 with supportive services.

LaRay Brown, President and CEO of One Brooklyn Health System said, “The Vital Brooklyn initiative recognizes the critical interdependence between health and housing. One Brooklyn Health is pleased to have partnered with CAMBA Housing Ventures and New York State on the development of these sorely needed 57 apartments. We look forward to providing primary care and mental services to The Hart’s tenants who choose to use our services and resuming the delivery of services to Central Brooklyn residents in this newly built outpatient space.

Developed by CAMBA Housing Ventures, the nine-story building will be located at 1038 Broadway in Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. The site was previously home to the Interfaith Medical Center’s mental health outpatient program, which will return to the new building’s ground floor along with a co-located primary care center. Together, the building will provide nearly 5,000 square feet of healthcare facilities for residents and the community. One Brooklyn Health will operate the mental health and primary care centers, which will serve as one of Vital Brooklyn’s 32 Ambulatory Care Centers.

Council Member Chi Ossé said, “Building new affordable housing is central to alleviating New York’s housing crisis. The Hart shows how we can get affordable housing right. To have this many permanently affordable homes coming to the neighborhood, as well as supportive homes for chronically homeless seniors and families, is a true gift to the community. On-site social services, a ground-floor health center, and a whole host of amenities will make this the well-rounded building for comfortable, dignified, and enjoyable living that all affordable housing should strive to be. Bed-Stuy will be better for this development coming to our community; we should pursue the construction of many more similar developments moving forward.

The Hart’s 57 apartments include fifty studios, two one-bedroom apartments, four two-bedroom apartments, and one apartment for a live-in superintendent. Thirty-four apartments will be set aside for chronically homeless seniors and four apartments reserved for chronically homeless families with at least one member living with a serious mental illness. The remaining apartments will be available to low- and moderate-income households.

Office of Temporary Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said, “Creating new supportive housing is central to our efforts to reduce homelessness across New York State. As part of the state’s Vital Brooklyn initiative, The Hart will provide New Yorkers experiencing homelessness with the services they need to ensure their long-term housing stability. I applaud Governor Hochul’s continued commitment to and investment in safe, affordable for everyone in our state, including some of the most vulnerable among us.

Designed by Marvel Architects, The Hart will pursue LEED certification and Energy Star Multifamily New Construction Program certification. The building will include a solar-ready option for a photovoltaic array to achieve lower operating expenses, reduce The Hart’s impact on natural resources, and provide a healthier building for the residents and neighborhood.

The building is being developed by CAMBA Housing Ventures, Inc. (CHV), an affiliate of CAMBA, Inc., the supportive service provider. On-site social services will be available to all residents in a CAMBA Social Service Office Suite and include case management focused on supporting physical and mental health, substance use counseling, economic empowerment education, youth development programming, family counseling and support, nutrition services and independent living skills training.

Joanne M. Oplustil, President and CEO of CAMBA/CHV, said, “Thanks to the vision of the Vital Brooklyn initiative and the diligent work of our funding partners, The Hart will offer an innovative, sustainable, and supportive environment where residents and the community can thrive. CHV’s signature mix of high-quality housing coupled with CAMBA’s onsite social services will have an even more transformative impact with the co-location of One Brooklyn Health medical facilities. We are thrilled to offer another development where housing and healthcare are co-located because we know an affordable, supportive, and permanent home lays the groundwork for a healthy and stable life.

Tenants at The Hart will enjoy a second-floor fitness and gardening terrace with options for community gardening, seating, and fitness and wellness activities. Amenities will include 24/7 front desk security, local art and sculptures, a community room, a computer room, laundry room and bicycle storage. Upon development completion, a Community Facility Annex at a nearby CHV affordable and supportive housing development will include an Economic Development and Workforce Training Center provided by CAMBA.

Financing for The Hart includes Federal and State Low-Income Tax Credits that are expected to generate $21.8 million in equity and $6.1 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is providing $7.9 million through the Homeless Housing Assistance Program and the New York State Department of Health is providing rental and service subsidies for the 38 supportive units through the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative. The Federal Home Loan Bank is providing $1.8 million in support.

Every New Yorker deserves access to safe, affordable housing that meets their needs,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “The transformative project at The Hart combines sustainable affordable housing with supportive and wellness services that help New Yorkers achieve stability and success. As we continue our economic recovery, we must ensure every community has access to the support and services they need to thrive.

CHV has a portfolio of more than 2700 units, representing over $1 billion in public and private investment throughout New York City. The Hart further expands CHV’s focus on co-locating housing and healthcare.

CHV, CAMBA, the general contractor Bolivar Builders, and the entire development team say they are committed to identifying local hiring opportunities and ensuring The Hart has a positive local economic impact during and after the construction period.

The Hart is projected to be completed in early 2024.

Images courtesy of CAMBA Housing Ventures.

See CAMBA Housing Ventures website.

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