As part of a building boom in East New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul and local leaders broke ceremonial ground Monday on the first phase of a $1.2 billion mixed-use development with this key centerpiece: “2,400 units. All affordable housing to this community,” Hochul has said.
The governor added, of the Brooklyn neighborhood: “This community has been underserved and forgotten for so long, and now we start righting the wrongs of the past.”
The $373 million first phase involves 576 units to be priced below-market rate, including supportive housing.
The Alafia project is to have open space, retail space and medical space at the site of what once was the Brooklyn Developmental Center.
“People have behavioral health or developmental disabilities or intellectual disabilities,” Hochul said. “This is going to help them as well. So we want to build a community where they can flourish and achieve independence.”
And Alafia represents movement toward Hochul’s newly stated goal of building 800,000 new units of housing in the next decade, an ambitious target she said won’t be possible if “we don’t get rules changed in Albany. Some of them are creating barriers to development as well as what we need to do in the City Council, so that’s why working with the mayor is going to make a big difference.”
The governor has hinted at a sweeping housing vision to be further detailed in her State of the State speech next month.
“We’re way behind building and we have some of the most restrictive zoning in the nation and that’s been part of the problem.”