Affordable housing FOR ALL is here -
The first and only proposed mixed-income residential rental development on private land in Crown Heights that addresses Brooklyn Community Board 9's urgent need for permanently affordable housing for individuals and families across all levels of incomes.
If approved, the rezoning at 960 Franklin will provide housing assistance to 789 individuals and families that are currently rent-burdened and potentially at risk of housing instability.
WHAT SUPPORTERS SAY
President of AFL-CIO
Central Labor Council
"Continuum's proposal epitomizes a unique and visionary effort by a private applicant to provide affordable housing and well-paying jobs for working families.
Half of the 1,500+ units built at the Spice Factory site will be targeted to incomes ranging from 50% AMI to 120% AMI -providing desperately needed permanent housing for the hard working lower-and middle-income residents of New York City"
Leaders of 100
Blacks in Construction
"Our leader A. Philip Randolph said that the essence of trade unionism is social uplift. The 100 Blacks in Construction stands in full solidarity with the Continuum Company and their Union Built - Union Financed and Union Operated template for developing workforce and affordable housing in our community and providing good paying Union jobs to our members and future members.
We hope 960 Franklin Avenue is just the first of several of their Union BFO developments that can serve as a path to the social upliftment our community needs."
Rabbi Eli Cohen,
Crown Heights Jewish
"The one issue that is foremost on the mind of every member of the community here: Housing.
As young people who have grown up in this community more and more wish to establish their own homes close to their roots, the lack of availability of affordable housing options is the number one complaint that we hear over and over again.
Hopefully, the nay-sayers will not be allowed to quash one of the few remaining opportunities to build apartments that can be made available at reasonable rents."
worthy of our community's support.
The rezoning at 960 Franklin seeks to transform a vacant and underutilized plot of land that would otherwise become another luxury condominium building into a 34-story, mixed-income residential development with 50% WORKFORCE* + AFFORDABLE HOUSING.
If approved, half of the approx.1,600 units built on the site will be reserved for low to middle-income households -- providing desperately needed permanent housing for the hard-working lower-and middle-income residents of Crown Heights and the greater NYC community.
With the promise 789 units of workforce + affordable housing, our proposed development represents an unprecedented opportunity to expand the availability of income-adjusted housing to individual and families that are currently rent-burdened and potentially at risk of housing instability.
*What is WORKFORCE HOUSING? Housing for essential workers (teachers, grocery clerks, bus drivers, nurses, firefighters), union workers, community entrepreneurs, and any others who are rent burdened but don't qualify for "low-income/affordable" housing.
Every New Yorker deserves a safe and affordable place to live.
Our goal is to bring more workforce + affordable housing to Crown Heights.
The 34-story proposed development at 960 Franklin would provide 789 units of desperately needed, permanently affordable housing for individuals and families of across all levels of incomes. They will consist of studios, one-, two- and three-bedrooms.
Use this chart to determine the % AMI income band you fall into and the number of units that could be available for your income level if the zoning application for this development is approved.
NOTE: Your household income cannot exceed the state income limit in order to qualify for reduced rent.
A Union BFO
Unlike other developments in surrounding area, 960 Franklin will be built by a combination of workers from:
AFL-CIO Labor Unions;
100 Blacks in Construction;
Greater NYC Building & Construction Trades.
This will bring 3000+ union jobs with robust, zip code-based outreach to community residents for these jobs.
It will be financed by the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, which will ensure all promises to be union-built and union-operated are kept. And it will be operated by 32BJ.
Executive Summary of Proposal
Our goal from Day 1 has been to help solve the affordable housing crisis in Crown Heights and NYC -- that's why our Draft Environmental Impact Statement proposes to transform a vacant and underutilized plot of land into a 34-story residential development with 50% market-rate apartments and 50% workforce and affordable housing. But, in an effort to be more compliant with contextual zoning, we are now introducing a reduced 17-STORY ALTERNATIVE -- with 75% market-rate apartments and 25% workforce and affordable housing.
The chart below provides an executive summary:
What do we REALLY mean by affordable + workforce housing?
Affordable housing is based on a household's percentage of Average Median Income which is set by the federal government on a yearly basis. Housing is considered affordable if it costs about one-third (30%) or less of household income and is regulated so the rent can't go up dramatically over time.
Use the charts below to understand the levels of affordability in our 34-story proposed and 17-story alternative plan, and the number of units that could be available for your income level the our zoning application for this development is approved.
NOTE: Your household income cannot exceed the stated income limit in order to qualify for reduced rent.
1. What is Continuum Company proposing at 960 Franklin?
The proposed rezoning at 960 Franklin would transform a vacant and underutilized plot of land into a 34-STORY PROPOSED mixed-income residential development with 50% market-rate apartments and 50% workforce and affordable housing.
The residential towers would include 789 units of affordable and workforce housing, 789 market-rate units, space for local retail, an indoor community area, a courtyard partially open to the public and 180 parking spots.
With the promise of 789 units of workforce and affordable housing, the rezoning at 960 Franklin represents an unprecedented opportunity to provide a large number of permanently affordable apartments to individuals and families across all levels of incomes, including the working and middle-class.
NEW! In an effort to be more compliant with contextual zoning, we are now offering a reduced 17-STORY ALTERNATIVE -- with 75% market-rate apartments and 25% workforce and affordable housing.
It should be noted that in this 17-STORY alternative, the residential towers would only include 292 units of affordable and workforce housing (compared to 789 units).
2. Some are concerned that the proposed towers are simply too big/tall for the Crown Heights neighborhood. Given that, what is Continuum’s rationale for building beyond the existing height and density limitation there?
Simply put – the need for affordable housing is one of the most pressing issues facing our city. We must put the need to house New Yorkers front and center.
Furthermore, affordable housing is the first of Brooklyn Community Board 9’s (“CB 9”) three most pressing issues as listed in their statement of community needs for the 2021 fiscal year. And with 48% of households in CB 9 spending 30% or more of their income on rent, there is an urgent need for affordable housing in the community.
Building beyond the existing height and density limitations at 960 Franklin will provide housing assistance to 789 individuals and families that are currently rent burdened and potentially at risk of housing instability. Every New Yorker deserves a safe and affordable place to live.
Additionally, it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity to grow the city responsibly, especially when building significant permanently affordable housing for low, working and middle-income families. This means added density where it’s supported by existing mass transit. 960 Franklin, a few blocks away from both Franklin Avenue and Prospect Park subway stations, makes perfect sense for that type of growth.
3. How was community feedback factored into your plans?
Prior to introducing our plan to develop the first-ever 50% market-rate / 50% workforce and affordable housing program on private land, Continuum Company engaged community leaders, religious leaders and elected officials in Crown Heights who provided extensive input regarding the neighborhood’s needs.
Across all stakeholder groups, there was an emphasis on the need for more affordable housing for individuals and families across all income levels, esoecially for working and middle-income families. In fact, affordable housing is the first of Brooklyn Community Board 9’s (“CB 9”) three most-pressing issues for the 2021 fiscal year.
At the same time, we received feedback regarding contextual zoning, the height of the buildings and the impact that shadows could have on the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens.
As a result, Continuum Company set forth two options:
- A 34-STORY PROPOSED residential development with 50% market-rate apartments and 50% workforce and affordable housing.
- A 17-STORY ALTERNATIVE with 75% market-rate apartments and only 25% workforce and affordable housing.
4. Brooklyn Botanical Gardens has been very vocal about the potential impact of this project on plant life. How would shade from this project affect BBG’s plant collections?
It’s true – plants need sunlight to survive. And yes, in addition to providing 789 affordable apartments, our proposed 34-STORY development would result in up to 4 hours of “traveling” shadows across the open space of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. BUT, as shadows are not static and move from west to east throughout the day, it’s also true that the impact of the shadows has been grossly overstated.
- Even with the 34-STORY development, a minimum of approx. 75% of the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens would continue to receive uninterrupted sunlight throughout the day.
- All vegetation requiring direct sunlight – including that within the Garden’s enclosed conservatories and greenhouses – would continue to receive AT LEAST 4-6 hours of direct sunlight, which, according to the CEQR Technical Manual, is the general minimum requirement for the survival of vegetation during the growing season.
5. If the rezoning isn’t approved, what will Continuum Company build instead?
If the 960 Franklin rezoning isn’t approved, Continuum Company will build an AS-OF-RIGHT residential development with approximately 518 market-rate condominiums and no affordable or workforce housing.
6. What are the details of the affordable housing component at 960 Franklin? How do I know if I will qualify? And what will the rents be like?
Housing is considered affordable if it costs about one-third (30%) or less of what people earn, also known as Average Median Income (AMI). The median income for all cities across the country is defined each year by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
The 34-STORY PROPOSED development at 960 Franklin would provide 789 units of desperately needed, permanently affordable housing for individuals and families of all spectrums of incomes. In the 17-STORY alternarive, 960 Franklin would provide 292 units of affordable and workfroce housing. They will consist of studios, one-, two- and three-bedrooms.
Use the affordability charts to understand the % AMI income band you fall into and the number of units that could be available for your income level if the rezoning application for this developemnt is approved.
NOTE: Your household income cannot exceed the stated income limit is order to qualify for reduced rent.
7. What are the economic impact and job benefits of the overall proposal?
The rezoning at 960 Franklin will be union built -- providing 3000+ jobs with family-sustaining wages to a combination of the AFL-CIO Labor Unions, 100 Blacks in Construction and the Greater NYC Building + Construction Trades.
Furthermore, when hiring workers for 960 Franklin, the unions have agreed to engage in robust, zip-code-based outreach to Crown Heights community residents to ensure they receive the most job benefits.
8. Why is it important that this project is union built?
New York City’s union construction sector employs a greater share of black workers and pays them more than the nonunion construction sector. Furthermore, when hiring workers for 960 Franklin, the unions have agreed to engage in robust, zip-code-based outreach to Crown Heights community residents.
So, 3,000 union construction jobs = 3,000 jobs with family-sustaining wages that benefit thousands of residents across Crown Heights and the city as a whole.