Two Trees’ 60 Water in Dumbo Now Taking Applications for Affordable Housing

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The Water Street Apartments at 60 Water Street in Dumbo are now taking applications for affordable units there. Construction on the Two Trees development, known as Dock Street Dumbo, started in 2012. The 18-story mixed-use development will have 300 rental units in total, including 58 affordable units. The affordable units will range from studios to two-bedrooms.

Monthly rents will start at $538 for a studio and go up as high as $893 for some two-bedroom units, according to an email sent out by Community Board Two. Income caps range from approximately $23,000 a year for a studio to $42,000 a year for a family of four. Applications must be postmarked by April 7. For more information, or to download an application, go to http://www.phippsny.org/page/135.

Steel up at Dock Street Development [Brownstoner]
Rendering via Curbed

17 Comment

  • Wow, I may be a total jerk, but this is total BS. $42,000 max income for a family of 4 to live in Dumbo in a brand new luxury building?! This is obviously not helping the housing crisis for everyone else. This city is becoming more and more for the lower middle class and the very wealthy exclusively. I’m a young, established professional and I can’t even dare think of living in a neighborhood I like. If I wanted to live here I’d probably have to pay at least $5-6,000/mo. Good thing we have a mayor that’s surely going to keep pushing this crap. Keep on helping one specific economic class in this city while ignoring the others and watch us leave! Help everyone or help no one and slash our taxes. So sad.

    • daveinbedstuy

      You make a very valid point. another reason why this and programs like RS/RC are just the wrong approaches.

    • It’s helping the housing crisis at least for some. Other developments have a wider range of definitions of “affordable” — a few for very low income, a few for low income, a few for lower middle income and a few for middle income. You should encourage the City to expand its affordability criteria in this way. I know a couple of educated/professional class families that have benefitted from these types of housing options in brownstone brooklyn.

      OTOH, if you are oxymoronically young yet also established in your profession, I have no doubt that the world is your oyster and you can move wherever there is insufficient demand to drive rents higher and higher.

    • No, your not a jerk!!!
      Because I was thinking the same thing as I read it. “Oh, maybe I should apply”…. then I saw 42K for a family of 4, a family of 4!!!and my first thought was, then you have of had 2 kids…..duh !!! why should you get to live in a brand new building like that?
      I work all day, everyday, I make more than 42K, but not enough to have the lifestyle I want to paying market rates at what they are today….. so I am classic middle class…..no one is going to help me but myself….

      • I agree with you 100%. I am tired of being sidelined and punished for being responsible and not having children I cannot afford to support. Why can’t a hard working single person catch a break in this city? I bust my hump to make my way and I can’t qualify for affordable housing because I work too hard or didn’t set the bar low enough for myself? This city helps those who will not help themselves it seems.

    • Don’t worry, most of the people who qualify will scam it somehow by filing separately or taking less freelance work or whatever the year before the forms are due and will be right back to making a solid middle-class salary after they have scammed their tax break from you.

      • Working less is highly unlikely, as the odds of getting the place off the lottery are too high to forego actual work — also in other developments the look back can be more than one year.
        I haven’t heard of a single report of separately filed applications being processed — the applications are usually sufficiently thorough that it’s pretty easy to identify the actual applicants.
        Usually the “scam” concern is that the developer will somehow favor certain applicants over others in ways that are not disclosed or otherwise illegal. (OTOH, certain affordable units are built intentionally for a specific group — the building on Schermerhorn between Smith and Hoyt behind the 14 townhouses was designed in large part for members of some theater union.)

        Also, the residents don’t get the tax break from the taxpayers — the developer does.

  • You have to prove continuing eligibility to remain in these units. Not sure how often they re-assess tenants’ income. Also, there are asset limits (see the linked application) for household members. I agree this is not the best approach; I think these income limits are too low. For example, a creative freelancer who has not regained their pre-recession income (I know a few people like this) would risk losing their housing if they moved in here, then did better financially. But even if they were doing better and presumably could and should move on, would making more than the +/-$30K a year stipulated for a single person here allow them to pay market rent elsewhere? And could they be certain that their higher income would remain stable? Better to find a Mitchell-Lama unit somewhere that you can “own” and won’t be kicked out of if your economic picture improves.

  • The 80/20 program is a city or state-administered program but the benefit to the developer for forgoing rent in 20% of the building (ie the difference bet. a market and an affordable unit) is provided by the federal government in the form of tax credit. Additional city and state subsidy can come in the form of bonds and low-interest loans.

    The IRS Tax Credit program defines affordable units as 60% of the Area Median Income with rents sized at about 30% of that monthly 60% income. Additional benefit is provided (by the federal, city and state) if the owner “skews” the rents lower (ie 40% and 50% AMI).

    These tax credits are syndicated (or sold) to investors who get the benefit over 10 years ( as long as affordable eligible tenants live in those unit). the investor gives the developer equity in exchange for the 10 year credit.

    the reason these rents are what they are is because the federal legislation is written to help very low income people. if we want to subsidize people with more income, ie a family of 4 making 75K or 80K or 90K, then the city and state would have to provide the subsidy directly. The use of federal dollars is why the city loves to assist in development of tax credit properties. City no longer has to provide direct subsidy. the problem is the income ranges are very low in the federal regime….

  • NEWHOP is a great program but subsidies are relatively small compared with LIHTC. Works best where difference between middle income and market rent is small. Where market rents are high developers usually make more money going all market. Mayor would have to make deals sweeter or force developers to do middle income units. Both are challenging.

  • Cate

    We’ve been seeing a few middle income subsidized rental buildings lately. The one that sticks out in my mind is 15 Dunham Place in South Williamsburg, on the waterfront on a formerly toxic site, where the income cap for a single person is $101,675 or $145,250 for a family of three. When it was under construction, $2,262 a month for a two bedroom sounded kind of high to me but not any more.

    http://www.brownstoner.com/blog/2012/08/curbed-new-affordable-housing-to-rent-on-burg-waterfront/

  • A family of 4 grocery bill at Forgers will be $42K per year. Where will they get food?