An affordable housing lottery has opened for 28 units in a recently constructed seven-story building at 824 East New York Avenue in East Flatbush. The building, which boasts a colorful mural that makes it stick out in the neighborhood, is called Ensemble. The site was formerly a parking lot for the supermarket next door.
Of the affordable apartments, there are six studios, 19 one-bedroom apartments and three two-bedrooms. Monthly rents start at $1,800 a month and top out at $2,600.
The lottery is set at an area median income range of 130 percent. Eligible incomes range between $61,715 and $135,590 for households of one to four people.
The most striking thing about the building is its colorful, painted facade. Designed by the artists Ariel Rouco and Augusto Turallas, the mural “features a Jewish man, African-American woman and Caucasian hipster riding a New York City subway — pinpointing the changing demographics of Crown Heights and its abutting neighborhoods,” according to a story in Bklyner. Despite what is depicted, the building is actually at least a 10-minute walk from the nearest subway station.
It will have 94 units total. There will be parking for 47 cars underground, commercial space on the ground floor and outdoor recreation space on the roof.
Karl Fischer is the architect of record and Judy Wolcowitz of Aview Builders is the developer. The latter purchased the property in 2015 for $7.925 million.
Leasing for market-rate units began in January. Based on the listing photos, the units are spacious, with large windows and hardwood floors. The open kitchens are modern in style, with built-in shelving and plenty of counter space. Some of the units appear to have a small terrace, but it’s unclear if these will be included in the affordable units.
A studio is currently listed for $1,650 a month, which is $150 less than the affordable units, and there are two-bedroom apartments that are listed for $2,600 a month, the exact same price as the equivalent affordable unit. This all begs the question of what it means for an apartment to be listed as affordable and who is benefiting.
These apartments fall under the 421-a affordable housing program, whose latest iteration, passed by Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2017, sets the area median income at 130 percent, which is far more than low-income New Yorkers can afford.
- Affordable Lottery Opens for 4 Units in Crown Heights, Starting at $904 a Month
- Share Your Thoughts on Affordable Housing at an East New York Forum
- Affordable Housing Lottery Opens for 23 Units in Brooklyn Heights, Starting at $596 a Month