Some of the families who are now Bed-Stuy homeowners. Photo credit: Deborah Schwartz
From Habitat for Humanity’s Press Release:
Sixteen hardworking, low-income families recently celebrated their new Habitat for Humanity – New York City homes in Bedford-Stuyvesant, receiving symbolic keys to their affordable condominiums.
The joyous dedication ceremony marked the completion of construction and the 300 hours of “sweat equity” that every adult family member gave to help build their homes.
Under Habitat-NYC’s urban “barn-raising” construction model, more than 2,500 volunteers – from all sectors of New York City and all walks of life – joined families to build these homes. Among them were luminaries like former Mets stars Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry,filmmaker Spike Lee and actress Susan Sarandon.
Josh Lockwood, Habitat-NYC Executive Director, said “Today is the most special day of our year at Habitat-NYC, as we salute the incredible, hard-working families who will become homebuyers as a result of our partnership together. It is a time when we reflect on the journey we have taken together, a journey of friendship, sacrifice, challenges and joys.”
Joining in the celebration were Congress Member Edolphus Towns and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, who handed out voter registration cards and urged new homeowners to be active in their new community.
Habitat-NYC’s Hart-Lafayette project includes four buildings on three sites – two buildings at 512-514 Lafayette Avenue, and single buildings at 544 Lafayette and at 118 Hart Street.
This $6.8 million project was funded by individuals, corporations and government, including Brooklyn Borough President Markowitz, Brooklyn Community Foundation, the New York City Housing Trust Fund, New York City Capital Funds, NYS Affordable Housing Corporation, NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal – HOME Program and NYC Councilmember Al Vann. HPD contributed the land and Amalgamated Bank provided a construction loan.
Hart-Lafayette families earn between 50% to 80% of the city’s area median income, contribute sweat equity and assume an affordable mortgage, paying no more than 33% of their gross income on monthly housing expenses.
Habitat for Humanity has a new, large-scale rehab and construction initiative in Bed-Stuy (and Ocean Hill-Brownsville) that they call 100 Homes in Brooklyn. They are actively seeking new homeowners for these developments, so if you are interested, you can find information and applications on their website (www.habitatnyc.org). Just click on Own a Habitat Home. Also, be sure to check out their new blog that focuses on updates about this initiative: http://100homesinbrooklyn.tumblr.com/