The Fountains Opens To Provide Hundreds Of Truly Affordable And Supportive Homes

The Fountains Opens To Provide Hundreds Of Truly Affordable And Supportive Homes
The Fountains in East NY. Credit: Gerri Hernandez

East New York, NY –  The Fountains was envisioned to provide good quality, affordable homes to low-income households and those with disabilities, as part of Governor Cuomo’s overall plan to revitalize communities and grow the economy. On Tuesday, October 20, a ribbon was cut to celebrate the completion of Phase 1 of the development.

The Fountains involved developing the formerly vacant lot at 888 Fountain Avenue into a 6.7-acre mixed-use development in three phases. Phase 1 included building two of the six 100% affordable housing buildings that will ultimately offer 1,163 apartments for income-eligible residents, of which 397 are dedicated to families and adults with disabilities. The development will include retail, commercial, and community spaces. The final four affordable housing buildings of The Fountains are on track to open by the end of the year.

Construction on Phase 1 started in May of 2017 and included the development of 332 affordable units at 11629 Seaview Avenue and 911 Erskine Street. The location is close to public transportation making it easier for those who live there to get around. Shirley Chisholm State Park, bike trails with grocery stores, parks, and schools nearby.

The Fountains – Phase 1 buildings. Credit: Gerri Hernandez

11629 Seaview Avenue opened in April, offering 65 affordable apartments, of which 17 were reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities that come with comprehensive onsite supportive services provided by the Block Institute, Inc. designed to enable independent living. Residents of these units receive rental subsidies provided by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. Ten of the apartments are fully accessible for residents with mobility, hearing, or vision impairments.

911 Erskine. Credit: Gerri Hernandez

The second building is located at 911 Erskine Street and offers 267 affordable apartments, with 67 apartments reserved for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Residents, chosen through a lottery system through Housing Connect, started moving into the building in June. Those who need, similarly receive support from the Block Institute, Inc.

For once, these are genuinely affordable apartments, the kind for which there is massive demand in Brooklyn. While eligibility ranges depending on the apartment, qualifying incomes range from $13,440 to $79,440 for households of one to seven people. 911 Erskine street received over 58,000 applications for the available units.  The complex has seven studios, 87 one-bedroom units, 63 two-bedroom units, and 42 three-bedroom units. Monthly rents start at $328 and top out at $1,504.

“We have made an unprecedented commitment to address the lack of affordable housing in every corner of New York, but especially in Brooklyn, where the financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been severe,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our aggressive approach to building new developments like The Fountains will provide high-quality, energy-efficient homes and supportive services to those who need them most as we continue to come back from this crisis.”

Left to right: Simon Bacchus and Daniel Moritz, The Arker Companies; OPWDD Commissioner Ted Kastner; HCR Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas; ESD President Eric Gertler; Kaleena Small, The Fountains resident; Allan Arker of The Arker Companies; State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud; HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll; Alex Arker, The Arker Companies; Ariel Aufgang, Aufgang Architects (hidden behind Alex); Scott Barkin, Block Institute and a Progressive Management staffer. Credit: Gerri Hernandez

The Fountains were developed by Arker Companies in partnership with New York State Development and Homes and Community Renewal.

“This much needed and anticipated project, especially now during these unprecedented times, is a welcoming addition to my constituency where affordable housing options are critical to New Yorkers and their families,” NY State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud said praising the public-private partnership.

“During this unexplainably difficult time, people are just looking for a place to live and call home,” said Alex Arker, Principal at Arker Companies. “The Arker Companies is grateful that the State and City worked with us on finalizing and opening The Fountains so we could begin moving families into this new development and help a few New Yorkers out.”


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