Photo: Herkimer Gardens Ribbon Cutting
September 28, 2023

Governor Hochul Announces Completion of 121-Unit Affordable Housing Development in Brooklyn

Governor Hochul Announces Completion of 121-Unit Affordable Housing Development in Brooklyn
Herkimer Gardens Offers Affordable and Supportive Homes for Older New Yorkers, a Health Care Facility, and Food Pantry in Bedford Stuyvesant
Development is Part of the State's Vital Brooklyn Initiative to Address Health and Economic Disparities in Central Brooklyn
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Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the completion of Herkimer Gardens in Bedford Stuyvesant which offers 121 apartments, including 60 with supportive services for New Yorkers aged 62 and older who need assistance to live independently. The affordable, energy-efficient development offers community space for a health care facility and a food pantry. Herkimer Gardens is part of the state's Vital Brooklyn Initiative to address chronic social, economic, and health disparities in Brooklyn's high-need communities.  

“Older New Yorkers deserve the security that stable, affordable and energy efficient homes provide - Herkimer Gardens delivers that and more,” Governor Hochul said. “My comprehensive plan to expand access to essential services and quality, affordable housing in Central Brooklyn reaffirms our commit to keeping this vibrant, historic neighborhood strong, and deepening the resources that serve its residents, the borough of Brooklyn, and the city as a whole."  

Herkimer Gardens complements Governor Hochul's $25 billion comprehensive Housing Plan to create or preserve 100,000 affordable homes across New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, plus the electrification of an additional 50,000 homes.   

The eight-story building was constructed on a parking lot formerly used by staff at Interfaith Medical Center, which is across the street from the new development. A 5,900 square-foot community space is designated for a health care facility operated by Interfaith Medical Center and 90 below-ground parking spots for medical staff.   

All 121 apartments will be affordable to households earning up to 80 percent of the Area Median Income.  

Project amenities include a wellness center, an urban farm, a recreational terrace where residents can attend yoga or tai chi classes, community room, free Wi-Fi, laundry facilities, and 24/7 front desk staffing. 

The building's design complies with Enterprise Green Communities guidelines. There are photovoltaic solar panels on the main roof to generate electricity onsite, air-cooled heat pumps, bi-level LED lighting with occupancy and daylight sensors, and solar shades. Other energy efficient features include a low flow plumbing system with leak monitors, Energy Star appliances, and increased insulation throughout the building.  

The project was developed by Federation of Organizations and CSD Housing. The Federation will be providing on-site services for 60 supportive units with the support of funding from the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative administered by the New York State Department of Health.  

State financing for the $60 million Herkimer Gardens includes $9.2 million in permanent tax-exempt housing bonds, $20.1 million in Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and $16.8 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. NYSERDA provided $74,880 in NY Sun incentives to support the installation of the rooftop photovoltaic panels. An additional $28,000 in solar tax credits is expected. 

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Herkimer Gardens will not only provide 121 affordable, healthy homes to residents, but also the types of services and amenities that can help heal the chronic disparities in the availability of quality health services, and fresh, healthy, affordable food that have plagued Bed-Stuy residents for far too long. We are proud to have worked side-by-side with Governor Hochul, the Federation of Organizations, CSD Housing, community and healthcare leaders, and residents, to make this development a reality and address the housing crisis in the most thoughtful, comprehensive, caring, and equitable way possible.”   

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris said, “Herkimer Gardens is a prime example of how community-focused housing can serve both New Yorkers and the environment. Some of Brooklyn’s most vulnerable adults can enjoy comfortable, supportive housing that provides access to the services they need, while saving money on their utility bills thanks to the newly installed solar panels supported through NYSERDA’s NY Sun program." 

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said, “Affordable housing builds a sense of community and alleviates financial burdens on individuals and families, which leads to improved public health. I stand with Governor Hochul as she continues to address the state’s housing crisis to make New York more affordable and livable for everyone." 

Assemblymember Stefani Zinerman said, “Herkimer Gardens is the manifestation of our community’s values to incorporate wellness, dignity, and holistic care into residential spaces for older adults and people with disabilities. Born out of the movement to create affordable housing and transform healthcare throughout Central Brooklyn, this development is a testament to our State’s $1.4 Billion investment in the Vital Brooklyn Initiative. These new green apartment buildings align perfectly with our commitment to age-friendly principles and the accessible environment and supportive services allow our elders to age in place. Congratulations to the coalition and Federation of Organizations for this accomplishment.' 

Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso said, “Not only will Herkimer Gardens be an affordable home for many of our senior Brooklynites, but it will also serve as a hub of health, nutrition, and community for the entire neighborhood. Thank you to New York State for championing Vital Brooklyn housing that puts the needs of residents and the community front and center.” 

Council Member Chi Ossé said, “Herkimer Gardens represents the gold standard for investment in our communities. This affordable and supportive housing will be just a small token of gratitude to our seniors for their lifetimes building our neighborhoods into the precious places they are today. The investment is to everyone’s benefit, as it keeps our communities whole. As prices rise across the city, Herkimer Gardens should be the lead to follow in the work to protect all we have built and the ones whose love and labor built it.” 

Federation of Organizations Chief Executive Officer Barbara Faron said, “We are thrilled to partner with the Vital Brooklyn Initiative as the service provider for Herkimer Gardens. This beautiful building adds a significant number of apartments to our Residential Program, playing an important role in fulfilling our mission. Community members, specifically the frail elderly, are provided the tools and support they need to improve their health and live as independently as possible, in an environment designed with sustainability and peace in mind.”    

CSD Housing Managing Member Michael Dehmler said, "At Herkimer Gardens, CSD Housing had the opportunity to do what we do best - bring together non-profit organizations and government funders on a complex deal to house vulnerable populations. It has been a tremendous honor to have won and then delivered on the Vital Brooklyn initiative to have worked with amazing partners at the Federation of Organizations, New York State HCR and Interfaith Hospital."   
About the Vital Brooklyn Initiative
The Vital Brooklyn Initiative was launched in spring 2017 to address the range of disparities that affect residents of Brooklyn and to create a new model for community development and wellness in Brooklyn's most vulnerable communities. Each Assembly Member in Central Brooklyn convened 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. RFPs for the ten sites were released in 2018 and 2019, with development partners selected through 2020. Six projects have started construction, two have been completed, and the remaining projects and phases will commence over the next few years.