Construction starts on $50 million affordable housing development in Brownsville


New York Construction Report staff writer

Construction is now underway at The Rise, a $50 million, 72-unit affordable housing complex in Brownsville, Brooklyn. Already recognized for its climate-friendly design, The Rise is part of the state’s Vital Brooklyn Initiative to address chronic social, economic and health disparities in Brooklyn’s high-need communities.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority selected The Rise design as a winner of its Buildings of Excellence competition in recognition of its design as a clean and resilient building. When complete, The Rise will meet both Passive House and LEED Gold Standards and achieve a carbon neutral performance.

All apartments will be affordable to households earning at or below 60 percent of the Area Median Income and 47 will be set aside for criminal-justice involved women and their families.

The Rise is being developed in partnership by Xenolith Partners, LLC, the Women’s Prison Association and the Brownsville Partnership. The building was designed by Magnusson Architecture & Planning PC.

“Xenolith Partners is thrilled to celebrate the groundbreaking of The Rise, a supportive housing project for formerly incarcerated individuals and their families. We’re proud to be part of NYS HCR’s Vital Brooklyn Initiative and to embody its principles of health, affordable housing, economic empowerment, and resilience,” said Xenolith Partners Director of Design and Construction Chris Lebron.

“Along with Brownsville Partnership, Women’s Prison Association, CPC, and our local program partners, we are committed to a deep, productive and long-standing relationship with the Brownsville community.”

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. Rooftop solar panels will cover Project EATS’ greenhouse, allowing year-round urban farming programming.

One Brooklyn Health/Brookdale Hospital Medical Center had occupied the now demolished and underused building on the site. One Brooklyn Health will offer mental health services on the ground floor of the new building alongside office and programming space for the service providers.

State funding for The Rise includes Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits that will generate $21.1 million in equity and $13.8 million in subsidy from New York State Homes and Community Renewal.

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance is providing $10 million through Homeless Housing Assistance Program. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is providing more than $1.2 million though the Buildings of Excellence Competition and the New Construction – Housing program and the project will be eligible to apply for additional support through the NY-Sun program for the solar component.


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