Photo: Clarkson Estates Groundbreaking
December 5, 2023

Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction on 328-Unit Affordable Housing Development in Brooklyn

Governor Hochul Announces Start of Construction on 328-Unit Affordable Housing Development in Brooklyn
Clarkson Estates Will Include 164 Apartments with Supportive Services for Formerly Homeless Individuals and Families
All-Electric, Passive House Development Will Offer Over 30,000 Square Feet of Community Facility Space to Support Healthy and Thriving Communities
Development is Part of the State's Vital Brooklyn Initiative to Address Health and Economic Disparities in Central Brooklyn

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of construction on Clarkson Estates in Flatbush, Brooklyn which will feature 328 affordable apartments, including 164 supportive units for formerly homeless households. The highly energy efficient, all-electric development will also include 30,000 square feet of space for community programming such as a violence prevention program, workforce training, and a food pantry. Clarkson Estates is part of the state's Vital Brooklyn Initiative to address chronic social, economic, and health disparities in Brooklyn's high-need communities.   

“Clarkson Estates continues our progress expanding access to essential services and quality affordable housing for Central Brooklyn’s historically underserved neighborhoods,” Governor Hochul said. “Through the Vital Brooklyn Initiative, we are improving the health and quality of life of Central Brooklyn's residents while complementing our statewide efforts to address the housing shortage and build a more equitable New York for all.” 

In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal has created or preserved 7,500 affordable homes in Brooklyn. Clarkson Estates continues this effort and is also part of 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, and to electrify 50,000 of those homes.    

Located in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens-Wingate neighborhood in Flatbush, Brooklyn, Clarkson Estates will be constructed on the site of a one-story parking facility previously used by SUNY Downstate Medical Center. In addition to the 328 affordable apartments, the nine-story building will offer approximately 80 rentable parking spaces that will be made available to the community. 

The project is being developed by CAMBA Housing Ventures. CHV’s nonprofit supportive services partner, CAMBA, will provide on-site services and programming that will be available to all residents. The Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative will provide funding for the building’s 164 supportive units. It is anticipated that the 164 units will include 59 units set-aside for homeless families, 35 units for youth aging out of foster care, 35 units for young adults, and 35 units reserved for formerly incarcerated individuals. The remaining apartments will be affordable to households earning at or below 70 percent of the Area Median Income. 

The 30,000-square-foot community facility, to be known as the Dr. Roy A. Hastick, Sr. Community Hub, will house programming operated by CAMBA, including a workforce training center, a healthy homes and screening center, an adult education and financial literacy office, a small business incubator, a violence prevention and mediation center, a youth education and development center, and a food pantry. There will also be a café, a childcare facility, and a full court basketball gym open to the community. 

The all-electric development is designed to achieve Passive House standards and includes energy efficient features such as heat pumps, Energy Star labeled appliances, LED light fixtures, and high-performance triple-pane windows. The development will be solar ready for a roof mounted solar photovoltaic system. 

Residential amenities will include a resident training kitchen, community gardening and roof terrace, children’s playroom, computer room, indoor fitness center, landscaped courtyard, community rooms and communal terraces, laundry rooms, 24/7 front desk security provided by CAMBA, and bike storage. 

Each apartment will have free wireless internet access, in keeping with the Governor's ConnectALL initiative, which has made historic investments to deliver highspeed internet in underserved communities and close the digital divide for lower-income New Yorkers. 

State financing for the $238 million development includes $18.6 million in permanent tax-exempt housing bonds, $101 million in Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and $75 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal. Clean Energy Initiative funding of $2.5 million was awarded through a partnership with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority for improved decarbonization scopes of work. OTDA is providing $10 million through the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program. An additional $2.5 million in financing is being provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York. Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity is provided by Goldman Sachs and syndicated by CREA. 

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas said, “Clarkson Estates is a tremendously exciting and multifaceted project that will be transformative for the entire Flatbush community. With 328 affordable homes in a highly energy efficient building, on-site supportive services, and an expansive community center offering an array of educational, health-focused, and recreational programming, the development is an investment in a more vibrant and greener future for Central Brooklyn. Thanks to Governor Hochul, Central Brooklyn’s residents are getting improved access to the economic, health and housing opportunities they need and deserve. Congratulations to CAMBA Housing Ventures for achieving this milestone as we work together on a project that will benefit this community and its residents for decades to come.”

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight said, "Today marks a momentous occasion as we break ground on Clarkson Estates, a beacon of opportunity that will bring affordable housing, community programming, and critical resources to Central Brooklyn residents. By investing in the health, education, economic mobility and empowerment of local families, we take one step closer to a Brooklyn where everyone can access stable housing and the support they need to thrive." 

NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen M. Harris said, “New York’s comprehensive strategies to reduce emissions statewide is also ensuring that all residents have access to modern, comfortable and energy efficient homes. Clarkson Estates Apartments provides safe affordable housing that delivers support while incorporating features that lower energy costs for some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers.” 

New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “The creation of new permanent supportive housing is central to our efforts to reduce homelessness across the state. When completed, Clarkson Estates will provide formerly homeless families and individuals with long-term housing stability and access to essential supportive services on-site. Governor Hochul rightly recognizes the power of supportive housing to transform the lives of some of our most vulnerable fellow New Yorkers.” 

State Senator Zellnor Myrie said, "Affordable housing is in short supply for the New Yorkers who need it most. That's why I'm so excited about Clarkson Estates, which will provide needed homes for residents in our community. I'm grateful to CAMBA and the other partners for helping make this a reality." 

Assemblymember Brian A. Cunningham said, “As rising costs strain family budgets and cause displacement in Flatbush, affordable housing is more important than ever. Clarkson Estates will deliver much-needed housing and supportive services for at-risk residents, as well as space for crucial community programming. This development will honor the service and contributions of Dr. Roy A. Hastick, Sr., who dedicated so much to community building in the Caribbean diaspora.” 

CAMBA/CHV President and CEO Joanne M. Oplustil said, “We are thrilled to begin construction on our second Vital Brooklyn initiative development, which will provide much-needed affordable housing and the necessary support systems for the most vulnerable among us. Clarkson Estates will be a place to live, work, retreat, grow, engage, and be inspired.” 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. Seven projects have started construction, two have been completed, and the remaining projects and phases will commence over the next few years.