On July 27th, Breaking Ground, the African American Planning Council Inc. (AAPCI) and project partners gathered to celebrate the opening of Edwin’s Place, a supportive/affordable residence providing 125 homes to a mix of formerly homeless individuals and families, including veterans and low-income community residents. Breaking Ground and AAPCI co-developed the residence: Breaking Ground will provide onsite property management, and AAPCI onsite social and supportive services contracted through NYC 15/15.
Located in Brownsville Brooklyn, the building features community space, a fitness center, a computer lab and a landscaped courtyard. Additionally, it provides retail space that will be occupied by the Brooklyn-based nonprofit Power of Two, which works with young parents to nurture the inherent potential of every child and family.
New residents each received an original work of art from a renowned American artist when they moved in. Inspired by a New York Times story of Breaking Ground resident and former Network Tenant of the Year, Buddy Jones, the artist, created 125 unique paintings for incoming Edwin’s Place residents to decorate their new homes.
Brenda Rosen, President and CEO of Breaking Ground, launched the program stating, “Edwin’s Place represents our commitment to developing safe and dignified homes to help vulnerable New Yorkers escape and avoid homelessness. Though this project has been many years in the making, it could not have been completed at a more crucial moment.”
Matthew Okebiyi, Founder & CEO of African American Planning Commission, Inc. said, “The project has allowed us to transition homeless individuals and families out of temporary homeless shelters into quality affordable and supportive housing with continued onsite support services. Tenants will live in an environment with mixed income families where they can resume normal, meaningful, productive lives.”
Brooklyn Borough president Eric Adams said, “Several years ago, I wrote that Brownsville’s pain is nothing compared to its promise. Despite the decades of disinvestment and myriad challenges the neighborhood has weathered, there is still so much in Brownsville that makes me optimistic about its future for true community-driven revitalization. Projects like Edwin’s Place are a case in point; this beautiful new development will provide state-of-the-art housing and amenities to a diverse community, with a particular and much-needed focus on serving formerly homeless individuals and families.
The project was financed by New York State Homes and Community Renewal, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation, and Wells Fargo, N.A. The Corporation for Supportive housing provided pre-development financing. Additional support was provided by the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York’s Affordable Housing Program, along with a grant from National Grid. Support services are funded by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The architect was A.M. Stern Architects and Mega Contracting Group was the contractor. The project was designed with features to reduce energy usage and was constructed to meet Enterprise Green Standards.
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