Developer Now Taking Applications for Pricey “Affordable” Units in Prospect Lefferts Gardens

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.

The developer, Tali Realty, had begun construction on the project in 2007 but stopped a year later. The lender had begun foreclosure proceedings. The city stepped in and provided the developer with a $2,900,000 subsidy, as we reported at the time. According to an article in The New York Times at the time, the lender refinanced the loan, waiving $350,000 in fees and writing down the loan by $115,000.

As a result the planned 26-unit condo building is now a 46-unit income restricted building. But it appears that some of the terms may have changed. As the Times reported in 2011 when the deal was struck, the top income for a family of four would be capped at $79,200 a year. Since the rents in these affordable units are set as a percentage of income, the monthly cost of the units for those earning under $79,200 a year would be relatively inexpensive and likely below the market in the area.

But now, according to the information on the building available through NYC Housing Connect, almost all of the units are restricted to those earning far above that sum. The lowest income bracket is between $67,406 and $96,800 and the top bracket goes over $138,000. The increased income makes the rents significantly higher than they would be if the units were restricted to those with lower incomes.

The high price of units (the studios are priced higher than the vast majority of market-rate one bedroom units listed in the neighborhood) and the high levels of income required to qualify for the housing caused at least one Brooklyn resident to wonder how a $1,909 per month studio could possibly be considered affordable.

382 lefferts tweet

Studios Cost $1900 at New 46-Unit Affordable Building in Crown Heights [DNA]
Deal on Stalled Condo Project Is First Under a City Program [NYT]
Stalled PLG Site to Become Affordable Rentals [Brownstoner]
Photo by Rachel Holliday Smith via DNA

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