Doe Fund, Partners Break Ground at Crystal Towers

Crystal Towers Project Will Bring 123 Units of Supportive and Affordable Housing to Low Income Individuals, Seniors and Families in Brooklyn 

 BROOKYLN, NY– The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) joins The Doe Fund, Inc., Crystal Ball LLC, and development partners to celebrate the start of construction on Crystal Towers, an eight-story supportive housing development with a total of 123 apartments that will be a mix of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three bedroom units.The groundbreaking announcement was also attended by Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams.

The financing of the Crystal Tower’s development was made possible under New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing. The most comprehensive affordable housing plan in the City’s history and largest municipal housing plan in the nation, its goal is to help address New York City’s affordability crisis by housing more than half a million New Yorkers, ranging from those with very low incomes to the middle class – all of whom face increased pressures due to ever-rising rents.

“We are so proud to help further our state and city’s shared vision for a more equitable, accessible New York with this development,” said Doe Fund, Inc. Founder and President George T. McDonald. Crystal Towers will be a place where New Yorkers in need can stabilize their lives, integrate with a wonderful community, receive the services they need, and live long, healthy, safe lives. None of that would have been possible without the incredible hard work and collaboration that so many of our leaders have provided: our elected officials from the borough and beyond; our city and state agency partners; and of course our private sector and financial partners.  All of us at The Doe Fund are inspired by their dedication and honored to join them in it.”

“Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York plan emphasizes the importance of supportive housing and its transformative impact on the lives of vulnerable households. The construction of Crystal Towers will be a lifeline to 123 households. I want to thank the Doe Fund, Crystal Ball LLC, and all development partners for their vision and their tireless efforts to make New York City a more affordable city for all New Yorkers,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been.

“The Doe Fund’s Crystal Towers will not only provide a safe and stable place to live, but ensure residents have access to support services they need to achieve independence and self-reliance,” said OTDA Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts. “Projects such as this demonstrate Governor Cuomo’s commitment to addressing the crisis of homelessness, while recognizing the positive effects affordable housing has on communities.”

“Crystal Towers will provide critical resources to the Flatbush community, offering affordable housing and support services to a vulnerable population that needs assistance,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “With rents that are affordable to low-income households and trained caseworkers available on site, Crystal Towers will become a safe and healthy place for many families that were once homeless. I’m proud to have supported this development that helps advance my administration’s efforts to ensure that every Brooklynite can continue to afford a home in our borough.”

“The construction of the Crystal Tower Apartments is certainly a cause for celebration,” said New York State Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte.  “Affordable housing and economic development are two of my top priorities. They are both critical to the overall health and success of neighborhoods like Flatbush, allowing people to live and work in their community. I commend Crystal Ball LLC and The Doe Fund for this venture, and I am pleased that affordable housing of this nature is being developed in my Assembly District. I look forward to standing here two years from now at the ribbon cutting.”

“In the midst of this City’s housing crisis, I am pleased to celebrate the beginning construction of Crystal Towers, which brings affordable units to some of the most vulnerable people living in my district. This ambitious project will meet the needs of many Brooklynites who are in need of quality, cost-effective housing options,” said New York City Council Member Jumaane Williams. “This development is especially needed considering the overall need for affordable housing in our community given the rise of gentrification. In my district, we often get inquiries from seniors about housing. Many of them are immigrant seniors, who are living in unsafe illegal basement apartments and rooms of relatives and friends because they are unable to afford anything else.  There are two realities in New York City- one is very separate and unequal for many living from check to check and paying the majority of the income towards rent. I’m proud to have contributed financial support from the beginning of this project, and be on the side that provides resources to lower-income New Yorkers. I want to thank former Brooklyn Borough Marty Markowitz, and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, the DOE Fund and Kevin Johnson of Crystal Manor for seeing this project through to realization.”

“As we commemorate the groundbreaking for an inspiring and critically needed new building, this project has required leadership, foresight, and careful planning,” said Kevin Johnson Managing Member of Crystal Ball LLC.  “And while we are just breaking ground, this is far from the beginning. The realization of an affordable housing project here in Flatbush is a dream come true!”

Located in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, Crystal Towers will be an eight-story building with approximately 91,100 square feet of residential space. Future residents of Crystal Towers will have access to onsite supportive services and amenities such as an outdoor recreation area, laundry facilities, and a multi-purpose room. The Doe Fund will provide onsite clinical case management services.

“We are delighted to invest in Crystal Towers and the revitalization of Flatbush,” said Kristen Miller, Director of the Metropolitan Region for the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH). “We are proud to partner with The Doe Fund and we are impressed with the support they have received from public officials, local businesses and neighbors. It is inspiring to see the community come together through this effort and embrace the creation of more affordable and supportive housing, giving real hope and help to those struggling to find a home in one of the most expensive places to rent in America.”

Crystal Towers will be affordable to extremely low- and low-income households, including vulnerable formerly homeless populations. Of the total 123 apartments, 115 will be affordable to households earning an annual income no more than $19,050 for an individual, or $24,500 for a household of three. These apartments include 74 that will specifically serve vulnerable formerly homeless households. Rents for these apartments will be subsidized by Project-based Section 8 vouchers that will be provided by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA). As a result, residents will only pay 30 percent of their monthly income, whatever it may be, towards rent. The remaining seven apartments will be affordable to households earning an annual income no more than $38,100 for an individual, or $43,500 for a household of three. The above incomes were set according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) 2016 calculations.

The total development cost for Crystal Towers will be approximately $57,570,028. HPD will provide Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and $7.9 million in City Capital. Raymond James will act as tax credit investor. HDC will provide $27.8 million in Tax Exempt Bonds towards construction financing and $6.8 million from their corporate reserves. The project will also receive $5 million in financing through the New York State Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP) and $147,600 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams contributed $1 million towards the development of this project. JP Morgan Chase will act as the lender.

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About Author: The Doe Fund

Founded in 1985, The Doe Fund provides life-transforming services for the homeless, the formerly incarcerated, disenfranchised youth, and people living with AIDS. The organization's flagship Ready, Willing & Able program has helped tens of thousands of individuals achieve permanent self sufficiency through paid work, transitional housing, and employment training.