Press Release

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NYCHA Chairman Rhea and HPD Commissioner Wambua Announce Second Development in NYC to Combine Affordable Rental Units and Public Housing

City Is Seeking Proposals From Developers To Build Affordable Housing And Public Housing Units In Ocean Hill, Brooklyn

NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) Chairman John B. Rhea and NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua announced today the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the redevelopment of Prospect Plaza, which is located in the Ocean Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. The RFP calls for the design, construction and operation of a mixed-use development that will result in approximately 80 NYCHA public housing units and a minimum of 280 affordable housing units for a total of at least 360 new housing units along with ground-floor retail, community facility space and open space. Prospect Plaza is a multiphase development with three sites bordered by St. Mark’s Avenue to the north, Saratoga Avenue to the east, Sterling Place to the south, and Howard Avenue to the west. This is the second joint NYCHA and HPD RFP for a Mixed-Finance development that contains both public housing and affordable residential units. The first such project, announced earlier this year, was for the rehabilitation of the Randolph Houses in Harlem.

Prospect Plaza is being developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP), multibillion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of the 2014 fiscal year. To date, the plan has funded the creation or preservation of more than 126,800 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs; 4,183 of those units in Brooklyn Community District 16 where Prospect Plaza will be located.

This partnership between NYCHA and HPD is part of a collaboration announced in April 2005 to identify underused NYCHA properties and, when suitable, work to redevelop them as affordable homes for low-income New Yorkers. The initiative highlights the Bloomberg Administration’s commitment to working across agencies to maximize city resources for the benefit of hardworking New Yorkers. The HPD/NYCHA collaboration has already produced more than 2,000 units with another 2,000 under construction and in pre-development; including Randolph Houses and Prospect Plaza, for a total of approximately 4,000 affordable units.

 “Through partnerships such as these, we can maximize the resources we have together to provide housing opportunities for more low-income New Yorkers,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “We look forward to the successful revitalization of Prospect Plaza as a model for future redevelopment.”

“For nearly three decades, Prospect Plaza served families in need of an affordable place to live. This RFP serves as a next critical step in its revitalization, and a shared promise kept to ensuring it remains as a resource of affordable housing to future generations of New Yorkers,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “Under the Mayor’s housing plan HPD and NYCHA have worked together to complete 2,000 units of housing with more in construction, and a robust pipeline of projects on tap. I look forward to continuing this innovative partnership as we work to create a more affordable and sustainable city for the hardworking people of New York.”

Built in 1974 by a private developer, Prospect Plaza had four high-rise towers with 365 units situated upon the three sites. In 2003, the development was vacated for rehabilitation as part of a HOPE VI Revitalization Plan sponsored by NYCHA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. One of the original towers was demolished in 2005. In 2007 the project was suspended after it was determined that it was prohibitively expensive and thus financially infeasible to renovate the towers.

NYCHA went back to the drawing board and invited former residents and community members to help draft a new plan for the three sites. As a result, the Re-Vision Prospect Plaza Community Plan was developed with input from former residents and community stakeholders during a three-day planning workshop in June 2010. The Plan calls for the demolition of the remaining vacant towers, construction of new mixed-use buildings with public housing and affordable housing units, ground floor retail space, and a community center.

Demolition of the three remaining Prospect Plaza towers will be completed by NYCHA prior to the conveyance of the sites. The project will be developed in three phases. The public housing units will be included in the first two phases. The third site is expected to include approximately 20,000-square-feet of ground floor retail space along Saratoga Avenue and approximately 10,000-square-feet of community facility space that will be made available to all residents of the Prospect Plaza development. The public housing units will be made available with a preference to former Prospect Plaza residents. All of the affordable rental units will be available through HPD’s open lottery system to low-income New Yorkers earning not more than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or what is equivalent to an annual household income not exceeding $49,080 for a family of four.

All three sites will be awarded as a single parcel to one applicant or one team of applicants. The RFP submission period runs from December 20, 2011 through March 30, 2012. For additional information and to obtain a copy of the RFP, please visit

To further the City’s goals of incorporating the latest green building technologies into upcoming projects and promoting design excellence, all buildings in the development must comply with the Enterprise Community Partners Green Communities program. Since January 2011, HPD has required the developers of new affordable housing construction and substantial renovation projects funded by the City to attain Enterprise Green Communities Certification by adhering to these criteria. It is the only national green building criteria designed for affordable housing, and was created to yield lowered utility costs, a healthier living environment and increased sustainability while benefiting the financial stability of both tenants and affordable housing developers.

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About the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA)
NYCHA provides decent and affordable housing in a safe and secure living environment for low and moderate- income residents throughout the five boroughs.  To fulfill this mission, NYCHA must preserve its aging housing stock through timely maintenance and modernization of its developments.  NYCHA also administers a citywide Section 8 Leased Housing Program in rental apartments.  Simultaneously, we work to enhance the quality of life at NYCHA by offering our residents opportunities to participate in a multitude of community, educational and recreational programs, as well as job readiness and training initiatives.

About the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD)
HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers through education, outreach, loan and development programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. It is responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the construction or preservation of 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 126,800 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit the HPD website.