HPD Announces 100 Percent Affordable Housing Project in Gowanus

November 19, 2020

Photo Credit: Marvel Architects / SCAPE Landscape Architects

Press Office: hpdmedia@hpd.nyc.gov

Gowanus Green, with nearly 1,000 exclusively affordable units and resilient public spaces, anchors the Gowanus Neighborhood Plan

NEW YORK, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development today announced that the Gowanus Green development bordering the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn will be 100 percent affordable, anchoring the Gowanus Neighborhood Plan with approximately 950 new homes and resilient infrastructure for new publicly accessible green spaces. At the same time, the project will open a long-shuttered site to New Yorkers and include a 1.5-acre public park along a revitalized Gowanus Canal and space for a new public school. 

As the City prepares to advance the Gowanus Neighborhood Plan into the land use review process, Gowanus Green anchors the vision for a thriving, inclusive, resilient, and more sustainable neighborhood and advances the City’s goals around fair housing and equitable growth. 

“Gowanus Green helps realize the City’s commitment to fair housing and equitable growth at a moment when safe, affordable housing and public open space is more important than ever,” says Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been. “This will be a transformative project to open an amenity-rich, transit accessible neighborhood to more New Yorkers, with nearly 1,000 homes -- all below market, with rents affordable to a wide range of individuals and families. Thank you to all our partners who have helped get the project this far.  We look forward to advancing this development and the broader Gowanus Neighborhood Plan together.” 

“Gowanus Green is a model of how affordable housing can be transformative for neighborhoods and is beneficial for whole communities. Anchoring the Gowanus Neighborhood Plan with a 100 percent affordable development that will infuse the community with new green spaces accessible to everyone, while contributing to the area’s resiliency, will make this thriving community an even more vibrant and inclusive place to live,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “We had incredible partners on this project and could not have made it happen without the support of our sister city agencies, the community and local leaders.”

“Gowanus Green represents the promise and potential of the Gowanus Neighborhood Plan, bringing affordability, green infrastructure, jobs, a new school, new streets and open space to this city-owned site. Gowanus Green is certain to be the centerpiece of an even better Gowanus neighborhood, serving as a vital pillar of affordability, opportunity and resiliency for residents, workers and visitors for decades to come,” said Department of City Planning Director Marisa Lago

"Gowanus Green will transform a long polluted, vacant waterfront site into a vibrant residential community with a new public park, a neighborhood school, and forward-thinking storm and water infrastructure. With 100 percent affordability, Gowanus Green will provide 950 new below-market rate homes in an area that currently offers none, including housing for very low-income seniors and formerly homeless people with on-site services, and affordable homeownership opportunities for working class families,” said NYC Council Member Brad Lander. “At least 60 percent of these units will be priced for incomes below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), opening doors for new neighbors in our community. I am grateful to the City and to the Gowanus Green development team for their commitment to both beautiful, innovative, and resilient site design and meaningful affordability to ensure this public asset is well used to advance our community's shared priorities."

"Gowanus Green is an innovative development model that will thoughtfully deliver critically needed public benefits -- 100 percent affordable housing, a public park and a public school -- on public land," said Michelle de la Uz, Executive Director of Fifth Avenue Committee. "By advancing resilience, sustainability and delivering nearly 1000 affordable homes in an area that badly needs them, we hope Gowanus Green will play a significant role in undoing past environmental actions and charting an inclusive way forward for the area. FAC and our partners are excited to be part of the future of Gowanus as the EPA begins dredging the Canal and the City implements Where We Live NYC, affirmatively furthering fair housing efforts."

The project will comprise six residential buildings with approximately 950 units of affordable housing, serving a wide range of incomes and needs which advances New York City’s Where We Live NYC fair housing priorities to build housing dedicated to formerly homeless households and extremely low-income New Yorkers. The project is being developed by Gowanus Green Partners, a joint venture of Fifth Avenue Committee, the Bluestone Organization, the Hudson Companies and the Jonathan Rose Companies.

100 Percent Affordability 

  • At least 50% of rental housing will be dedicated to extremely low/very low-income households with incomes averaging at or below 50% AMI (approx. $51,200 for a family of 3), including at least 15% of rental units dedicated to formerly homeless households  
  • No more than 40% of rental housing will be dedicated to moderate income households with incomes averaging between 80% - 120% AMI (approx. $81,920 - $122,880 for a family of 3) 
  • Senior Housing will be provided for seniors 62+ years in age 
  • Supportive Housing will be provided for formerly homeless, disabled individuals or homeless families with a disabled head-of-household 
  • Affordable Homeownership will be provided for households with incomes averaging between 80% - 130% AMI (approx. $81,920 - $133,120 for a family of 3)

Located on the corner of Smith and 5th Streets, Gowanus Green borders the Gowanus Canal on a vacant City-owned site. In 2007, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) issued a Request for Proposals to develop the site and developers were selected the following year. The Gowanus Canal was designated a Superfund site in 2010 and development paused for U.S. Environmental Protection Agency clean up and remediation. The rezoning will facilitate the redevelopment of the site for affordable housing and complementary uses. Gowanus Green Partners has also applied to Department of Environmental Conservation to join the Brownfield Cleanup Agreement and complete any additional environmental remediation necessary to facilitate the safe redevelopment of the site for residential, open space and educational uses.  


The 950 affordable units from the Gowanus Green project will anchor the neighborhood with an influx of housing while creating 80,000 square feet for a new school, nearly 30,000 square feet of commercial and community space, and 1.5 acres of accessible and resilient Waterfront open space along the Canal.  


New Neighborhood Benefits 

  • Streets, Parks and Open Space: A key goal of the Neighborhood Plan is to reconnect the community to the Gowanus Canal and improve neighborhood livability with better access to the open space and the waterfront and other local environmental improvements. Mapping extensions of Luquer and Hoyt streets will reconnect the area to the street grid and facilitate the redevelopment of City-owned property. The Luquer Street extension will be designed as a shared street, where pedestrians have priority and share the right of way cooperatively with cyclists and motorists. In addition to local park improvements, which include laying the groundwork for new waterfront open space along the length of the Canal, a new 1.5-acre waterfront park will be planned for at the Gowanus Green site. The new park will connect to an esplanade to be built along the canal as sites are developed under the forthcoming Gowanus Waterfront Access Plan. 

  • Flood and Stormwater Resiliency: Robust infrastructure at Gowanus Green will capture 100% of stormwater on-site. Using green roofs, stormwater harvesting cisterns, rain gardens, bioswales and more, the capture system will only generate clear water discharge into the Gowanus Canal, relieving pressure on the city’s combined sewer overflow facilities. 
  • Schools and Youth Development:  Schools serve as hubs for community-based organizations and youth development more broadly. Gowanus Green anticipates the area’s overall population growth by reserving space for a new school. 

Gowanus Neighborhood 

Gowanus is a neighborhood with a diverse mix of residents, workers, and businesses. The neighborhood is rich in community and cultural resources, including schools, ecology, parks and open space, historic buildings, and arts and cultural uses that contribute to the neighborhood’s distinctive character and identity. Gowanus is surrounded by the residential neighborhoods of Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill and Park Slope, and is within walking distance of Downtown Brooklyn, a growing and emerging Central Business District. The community has overcome industrial decline and years of environmental neglect and pollution while being a center for entrepreneurship, innovation, and creative expression.