HDC, HPD, and Partners Celebrate Construction of Affordable and Supportive Housing in Brooklyn

Groundbreaking for HELP ONE A & B

New York, NY – HELP USA, New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), and New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) broke ground today on the HELP ONE Buildings A &B, which will bring 255 low-income and supportive homes to Brooklyn. Of the 255 affordable apartments, 154 will be reserved for individuals and families who have experienced homelessness.

HPD Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. said, “When complete, the HELP ONE development will bring more than 500 affordable homes to the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. These first two buildings exemplify the City’s commitment to deep affordability and ensuring New Yorkers experiencing homelessness have a safe, quality home and the supportive services they need to thrive. Thanks to HELP USA, our partners at the City and State, and our team at HPD for putting together an affordable development that also includes valuable outdoor recreational areas and a high standard of energy efficiency.”   

Under construction in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood, the $129 million development reflects New York City’s commitment to expanding access to safe, affordable housing, especially for the most vulnerable New Yorkers. The new apartment buildings will help fill a dire need for permanent affordable and supportive housing and bring stability to more than 255 households.

“HDC is proud to have contributed crucial bond financing to ensure the creation of 184 affordable homes at Building A of the HELP One project. More than half of these apartments will be designated to formerly homeless New Yorkers, providing lasting stability and opportunity to those in need,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “This multi-phased development will ultimately bring more than 500 affordable and supportive homes, vital social services, as well as commercial and community facility space to the East New York community. I look forward to continuing to work with all our partners in advancing the development of this transformative project.”

HELP ONE Buildings A & B are the first phase of a planned four-building complex that will provide more than 500 affordable apartments. When complete, all apartments will share service space, a courtyard with playground, a dog park, built-in grills and myriad picnic and passive use areas. Located in the East New York section of Brooklyn, with easy access to public transportation, pharmacies, grocery stores, and public parks, the building will feature energy efficient windows, fixtures, and an integrated solar array.          

President & CEO of HELP USA Tom Hameline said, “30 years ago we opened our first shelter on this site. Since then we’ve worked tirelessly to serve communities and families who are under-resourced and under-served. We are so proud to stand on the spot where it all began, with our partners at the State and City, and continue that work. A stable home and a supportive community can make all the difference, and we’re happy to provide both with this new development.”

Building A will comprise 184 homes, a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments with 60% of the units reserved for formerly homeless young families. Supportive services will be provided by HELP though the New York City 15/15 Program. Additionally, Building A will be the new home of one of HELP USA’s non-residential community service programs, HELP ROADS, a counseling and support team that serves survivors of domestic violence.

Building B will comprise 71 homes, a mix of studio and one-bedroom apartments with 60% of the units reserved for formerly homeless adults with mental health and substance abuse concerns. Supportive services will be provided by HELP though the New York City 15/15 Program.

Funding was provided by a coalition of governmental and private sources including: New York City Housing Preservation and Development, New York City Housing Development Corporation, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Bank of New York Mellon, and Regions Affordable Housing.

"By coupling affordable housing with supportive services, we can provide an effective path to stability for New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, including some of the most marginalized among us," OTDA Acting Commissioner Daniel W. Tietz said"Like many other projects supported through the state's Homeless Housing and Assistance Program, this development will provide safe homes and renewed hope for families and individuals facing housing instability in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn and the surrounding area." 

Help One was awarded $1 million as part of New York State’s inaugural $40 million Buildings of Excellence Competition for building design that implements advanced, climate-specific design strategies to reduce energy use and carbon emissions. This competition, administered by NYSERDA supports New York State’s nation leading Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 85 percent by 2050.

Doreen M. Harris, President and CEO of NYSERDA said, “NYSERDA is pleased to see this project break ground and commence construction on supportive affordable housing that provides energy efficient appliances, insulation and fixtures, as well as clean, renewable solar energy for vulnerable Brooklyn residents. Buildings of Excellence projects like the HELP ONE demonstrate that a low carbon future is possible with beautiful and comfortable buildings that offer significant opportunities to ensure all New Yorkers benefit from clean energy investments.”

“For decades, DCP has worked closely with the East New York community to turn formerly vacant buildings into permanently affordable housing. This new building is the first of four that together will supply nearly 600 affordable homes and supportive services, a result of our collaborative planning work that is further strengthening this neighborhood, borough, and city,” said Department of City Planning Director Dan Garodnick.

This project is a continuation of HELP USA’s 30-year commitment to developing affordable housing with targeted services that ensure people remain housed. To date, the agency has developed 25 affordable housing programs across the country – with more than 1,800 units – which are home to underserved populations including veterans, survivors of domestic violence, people living with HIV, and the formerly homeless. HELP USA’s affordable housing developments can be found in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Washington, DC, and Nevada.