Email a Friend
NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Press Release # 03-09
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Seth McM. Donlin, HPD (212) 863-5176
Christina Sanchez, HDC (212) 227-2644
Richard Edmonds/Rebecca Regal, CPC (212) 575-545


New Housing Marketplace Plan to Create Affordable Housing for 500,000 New Yorkers is Part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

Brooklyn, April 22, 2009 – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) joined CPC Resources (CPCR) and East Brooklyn Congregations (EBC) as they broke ground today on 103 units of affordable housing located in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn. The creation of affordable housing in neighborhoods across New York City is part of the City's Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods.

Comprised of 13 four-story apartment buildings that will rise side-by-side on vacant land fronting Watkins Street between Newport and Lott Avenue, 100 of the development’s units will be affordable to families earning 60% of the HUD Income Limits (HUDIL), or $46,100 for a family of four ($32,300 for an individual). The remaining three affordable units will be set aside for families earning just 50% HUDIL, ($38,400 for a family of four or $27,000 for an individual).

“Developments like this are a lesson that well conceived and properly financed affordable housing development can continue and is continuing, even in the face of the current credit market,” said HPD Commissioner Rafael E. Cestero. “We at HPD are proud to be able to help partners like CPCR and EBC create the kind of housing that is so necessary to the health of our city’s neighborhoods and the families that call them home.”

The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) will finance the construction of the Watkins Street buildings by issuing $14.5 million in tax-exempt bonds and lending $5.9 million in low-interest subsidy from its corporate reserves. HDC, the largest issuer of tax-exempt housing bonds in the nation, has helped to finance more than 41,000 units of affordable housing over the past six years under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan.

Marc Jahr, HDC President, said: "We're enormously pleased to be involved in this project. It represents not only the City's commitment to affordable housing, but its commitment to building strong neighborhoods. HDC's financing for 550 Watkins will buttress our investment in the reclamation of The Plaza (Noble Drew), the formerly beleaguered 385-unit development down the block from this new affordable housing. Together with the community, we're helping to better housing and an even more attractive place to live."

Located on former HPD-owned land along Watkins Street, this project will be developed using CPCR’s unique Infill Housing Model – an efficient, cost-effective prototype for building affordable housing that is designed specifically to fit R-6 zoning, which is prevalent in residential neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. As the development arm of The Community Preservation Corporation, CPCR will oversee all aspects of the development and construction of the project until the apartments are fully leased at which point East Brooklyn Congregation will assume control.

Michael Lappin, president and CEO of CPC Resources and The Community Preservation Corporation, said, “In the early 1980’s East Brooklyn Congregations formed a plan to provide low- and middle- income families with affordable housing options in East Brooklyn. As we stand here today, close to 30 years later, prepared to break ground on another wonderful project, we can look across the street and see the results of that very first effort, the Nehemiah homes, and know that these projects have and will continue to help restore our city’s neighborhoods for current and future generations.”

Over the past quarter century, East Brooklyn Congregations has been responsible for the transformation of many vacant blocks in East New York and Brownsville with the construction of nearly 3,000 units of housing. The Watkins Street development will be composed of 35 one-bedroom, 57 two-bedroom, and 11 three-bedroom units with an additional unit set aside for the superintendent.  There will be on-site laundry facilities, outdoor recreation space and 22 on-site parking spaces.

Rev. David K. Brawley, Co-chair of EBC, said, “In times of economic crisis, it’s even more important to be developing housing for the people of New York City and we are pleased that the mayor is maintaining the City’s momentum in affordable development. To that end, we at EBC are not just shovel ready, we are shovel busy.”

The City’s transfer of the land for use as affordable housing is part of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s $7.5 billion New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP) to create and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing. The NHMP is also part of the Mayor’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan aimed at bringing New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. To date the NHMP has created or preserved over 85,000 units of affordable housing.

The total development cost for the 13 buildings comprising the Watkins Street development is projected to be $28.5 million. In addition to HDC financing, HPD will provide $6.3 million in City Capital and HOME funds subsidy through the Low Income Rental Program. During construction, the bonds will be backed by a letter of credit from Chase Community Development Banking.  $10 million tax credit equity will be syndicated through the RBC Tax Credit Equity Group.           

A lottery will be held to select tenants for the apartments. Lottery applications are projected to be released in the spring of 2010.

# # #

The NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)

HPD’s mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. It is the nation's largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing, HPD also actively promotes the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. For more information visit

New York City Housing Development Corporation

The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) provides a variety of financing programs for the creation and/or preservation of multi-family affordable housing throughout the five boroughs of New York City. HDC is the number one issuer affordable housing bonds in the country, issuing more than $1.3 billion in bonds, financing the construction or preservation of 7,371 affordable homes in 2008. Please visit for more information.

CPC Resources, Inc. (CPCR)

CPCR is the for-profit development subsidiary of The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), a not-for-profit mortgage lender that has financed more than $7 billion of affordable housing since its founding in 1974.  CPCR has developed or rehabilitated more than 13,000 units throughout New York State, including Parkchester Apartments in the Bronx, representing an investment of over $600 million in affordable housing. 

New York City’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

The Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth.


View Site Map