The Rise Development aerial shot

Governor Cuomo Announces Plans for New Supportive Housing Development in Brownsville as Part of $1.4 Billion Vital Brooklyn Initiative

Governor Cuomo Announces Plans for New Supportive Housing Development in Brownsville as Part of $1.4 Billion Vital Brooklyn Initiative

Press Release

Project to Construct 68 Supportive Homes with Health and Wellness, Employment, Legal, and Support Services for Residents and Community

Development is Part of Governor's Commitment to Create 4,000 Units of Affordable Housing in Central Brooklyn


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced plans for The Rise, the latest winning proposal under the Vital Brooklyn Initiative that will construct 68 affordable and supportive housing apartments on East New York Avenue in Brownsville. The Rise will offer an array of health, wellness, employment and legal services. The development is part of the Governor's $578 million commitment to create 4,000 units of affordable housing through the $1.4 billion initiative.

"Affordable, safe housing with access to social services is critical to building a healthy, successful future for individuals and their families," Governor Cuomo said. "The redevelopment of this East New York Avenue site will be an integral part of the Vital Brooklyn Initiative to deliver affordable housing opportunities to Central Brooklyn."

The Rise will be developed in partnership by Xenolith Partners, LLC, Community Preservation Corporation and Community Solutions International, Inc.

The East New York Avenue site, owned by One Brooklyn Health System, is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of East New York Avenue and Strauss Street

in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. As part of the winning proposal, OBHS will house administrative offices on the ground floor of the building.

The Women's Prison Association and the Osborne Association will also occupy space on the ground floor in order to serve the building's residents as well as eligible members of the community. These services include case management, job-readiness training and job placement, legal assistance and support groups for re-entry transition and the development of social and wellness skills.

The development will also include space on the ground floor and lower level to be shared by Man Up! Inc. and Community Capacity Development, Inc. Man Up and CCD will provide services for individuals whose lives have been touched by the criminal justice system and fitness classes for youth, adults and seniors. These services will be available to residents of the development and the surrounding community.

The Rise will feature 68 apartments including one superintendent's unit. The project will be developed using trauma-informed design, including elements such as a mix of semi-enclosed and open spaces to support varying levels of social interactions, as well as the removal of harsh stimuli such as lighting and wall color.

On-site amenities will include two lounges, a community room, three laundry rooms, two resident outdoor terraces, and bicycle storage. Free Wi-Fi will also be provided throughout the building for residents and visitors, which is a hallmark of Vital Brooklyn's commitment to increasing internet access across Central Brooklyn.

The development will also include approximately 10,000 square feet of green space for residents and the broader community to enjoy, including a rooftop farm and greenhouse managed by Project EATS that will provide healthy food options and job training. Residents will have exclusive access to multiple outdoor terraces that include raised gardening beds.

The Rise has been designed to meet LEED for Homes Gold standards. Rooftop solar panels will serve as the roof for Project EATS' greenhouse allowing for year-round urban farming programming.

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, "Supportive housing developments such as this offer individuals exiting the criminal justice system the stability they need to pursue a better future. The Rise will bring 68 quality affordable homes to Brownsville along with valuable community services that set individuals on a path toward independence, health and success. Thanks to the Governor's $578 million investment in housing through the Vital Brooklyn Initiative, we continue to breathe new life into Central Brooklyn with creative, modern, energy-efficient and health-oriented mixed-use developments that will improve the lives of residents and further economic development in these communities for decades to come. Congratulations to our partners on their winning proposal."

One Brooklyn Health System, Inc. Chief Executive Officer LaRay Brown said, "Affordable housing is critical to healthy communities. One Brooklyn Health System is excited to see the Governor's investment in central Brooklyn and we look forward to working with all the partners to make sure our Brooklyn neighbors have safe, healthy, affordable places to live."

Senator Zellnor Myrie said, "My constituents in Central Brooklyn have long needed the attention and resources of State government to improve access to decent housing and healthcare. It now has them through our partnership with One Brooklyn Health System, my colleagues in government and everyone in the community who worked together to make this development a realty. For individuals exiting the criminal justice system, supportive housing can provide the stability needed for a successful transition for themselves and their families. The positive transformation of the lives of future residents of The Rise will be evident for years to come."

Assemblymember Latrice Walker said, "We are grateful for the State's focus and investment in the Vital Brooklyn Initiative to build a better future in Brownsville and across Central Brooklyn. The Rise will be a valuable asset for the entire neighborhood with supportive housing, resources and opportunities for individuals whose lives have been touched by the criminal justice system.  This development offers a fresh start to New Yorkers returning to their communities and empowers them to rebuild healthy and successful lives.  The Rise could not have happened without the commitment and dedication of many people in government, supportive service providers and private sectors, and most importantly, the individual members of the community who spoke up about their needs and priorities. I look forward to working together with HCR and the winning development team to see this project to completion." 

New York City Council Member Alicka Ampry-Samuels said, "The Rise is a model of what can be accomplished when government, private and nonprofit partners dedicate their efforts and expertise on behalf of our fellow New Yorkers who need assistance in order to live productive and independent lives. Supportive and stable housing is a proven method for helping recently incarcerated individuals avoid homelessness and reestablish connections to their families and communities. Welcoming returning family members back and supporting them in their new homes is only the beginning."

Xenolith Partners Founding Principal Andrea Kretchmer said, "The Rise Team, including Xenolith Partners, Community Preservation Corporation, and Community Solutions, is excited to help create more affordable and supportive housing opportunities in Brownsville, particularly for justice-involved New Yorkers. Our innovative service partner, the Women's Prison Association (WPA), will use their 175 years of expertise to provide trauma-responsive programming and support services. The healthy environment, designed by Magnusson Architecture and Planning, will enable residents and neighbors to not just rise, but to thrive."

Revitalizing Central Brooklyn

Central Brooklyn is one of the most vulnerable areas in all of New York State. Residents experience measurably higher rates of health problems; limited access to healthy foods or opportunities for physical activity; and high rates of violence and crime. Central Brooklyn is also affected by wide economic disparities due to unemployment, high poverty levels and inadequate access to high quality health care.

Today's announcement adds to five winning proposals previously announced by the Governor in November 2018 and December 2019 which will create approximately 3,000 affordable homes in Central Brooklyn. The projects include apartments and supportive services for the developmentally disabled, individuals aging out of foster care and chronically homeless families.

About the Vital Brooklyn Initiative

The Governor launched the Vital Brooklyn Initiative in spring 2017 in order to address this array of disparities that affect residents of Brooklyn and to create a new model for community development and wellness in Brooklyn's most vulnerable communities.

The Governor then charged each Assembly Member in Central Brooklyn with convening a Community Advisory Council consisting of community leaders, local experts, advocates, and other stakeholders to consider the unique needs and opportunities in their districts, and to develop long-term solutions. State Senators representing parts of Central Brooklyn were also actively engaged in the process. A total of 25 community meetings brought together nearly 100 key community stakeholders.