Prospect Lefferts Gardens’ 60 Clarkson has ornate plaster moldings, a courtyard and appalling conditions for those who call it home. Though a private apartment building, 60 Clarkson Avenue is used as emergency housing for homeless families as part of the Giuliani-era cluster-site program. The New York Times reported that the building has racked up hundreds of housing violations — including for mold, cockroach infestations and rats.

Deplored by the de Blasio administration as well as the Department of Investigation, cluster-site housing pays private landlords — in the case of 60 Clarkson, Barry Hers — almost $2,500 a month per family for housing and services. If not used for cluster housing, many of the units in these buildings would be rent-controlled, meaning landlords would receive lower rents from permanent tenants than they currently do from the city for homeless residents.


Last week the application period began for 46 affordable units at 382 Lefferts Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. There are five studios, 28 one bedrooms and 13 two bedroom apartments for rent to those who meet the requirements and win placement in the lottery. The availability of the units was first reported by DNAinfo.

Studio apartments will cost $1,909 a month for those earning between $67,406 and $96,800 a year. One-bedrooms are $2,047 a month and two-bedroom units are $2,465 a month for those earning between $86,572 a year and as much as $138,080 a year, depending on the number of people living in the unit. Applications are due by September 22.

This building was a bit of a test case for the city. In the wake of the financial crisis with developments stalled, the city launched its $20,000,000 Housing Asset Renewal Program. The goal was to provide funding to developers who were unable to finish their buildings in exchange for converting their market-rate projects to affordable housing. This building was the first to accept funding from HARP way back in 2011.

Brooklyn, one building at a time.

Name: Apartment building
Address: 99 Ocean Avenue
Cross Streets: Corner Lincoln Road
Neighborhood: Prospect Lefferts Gardens
Year Built: 1927
Architectural Style: Deco influenced Mediterranean style
Architect: Boris W. Dorfman
Other works by architect: 145 Lincoln Rd apartments, 818 Flatbush, buildings on Maimonides Hospital Complex, 420 Clinton Avenue apartments
Landmarked: No

The story: While the second half of the 19th century was the age of the urban house in Brooklyn, the 1920s and ‘30s were the age of the six-story apartment building.

As more and more people moved out of the crowded areas of Lower Manhattan and Williamsburg, they flocked to the hundreds of six-story apartment buildings going up across upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and parts of Queens.

The architecture of these buildings can typically be classified under one of three stylistic themes. The first was a WASP-y classy Colonial Revival, the second was Art Deco modern swank, and the third was a Mediterranean-exotic-historical-theme-park kind of refined kitsch.

While all three have their beauty and charm, I’m especially fascinated by the creative style of third, the style of 99 Ocean Avenue.

This listing for a Prospect Lefferts limestone leaves a lot to the imagination. But it’s got our attention.

Twenty feet wide and three stories high, the house — at 233 Lincoln Road, between Bedford and Rogers avenues — is obviously not in peak condition. But it’s loaded with original detail — check out the wainscoting, parquet flooring, decorative moldings, elaborate screen, mantel, and pier mirror.