A new low-income housing project in Bedford-Stuyvesant hopes to build a community-owned local network plant and provide more affordable internet access to residents and local businesses.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development selected “The Steps at Saratoga” proposal from RiseBoro, IMPACCT Brooklyn, and Urbane Development to build new affordable housing for seniors and low-income families.
The two-building project is expected to create 238 new affordable homes, including 158 for low-income families and 80 for seniors. Approximately 49 homes will be set aside for formerly homeless households, including 25 for families and 24 for seniors.
“The selection of The Steps at Saratoga proposal paves the way for a new affordable housing development that will generate greater equity, wellness, and economic opportunity for the Bedford-Stuyvesant community,” said NYC Housing Development Corporation (HDC) President Eric Enderlin.
The development team hopes to create a hub for residents with local non-profits, minority-owned business enterprises and businesses that will operate various wellness and business programs.
Wellness programs will include healthy food, cooking and culinary workshops, urban farming programs and health services.
“Food justice and affordable housing are pillars of RiseBoro’s whole-community approach,” said Scott Short, CEO of RiseBoro Community Partnership. “This project is a model of how local communities can have it all — equitable food access, determination around health and wellness, as well as housing affordability — and we are thrilled to contribute to it.”
Wealth programs will be created to foster a regenerative economy by promoting business incubation, creating jobs, and keeping wealth grounded in the community. RiseBoro’s Worker Coop Development Program and the NYC Network of Worker Cooperatives will share space for incubating and supporting cooperatively-owned micro-enterprises, with RiseBoro’s program focusing on businesses in food supply and demand.
In partnership with Pariveda Solutions Inc., the project aims to be the first development in NYC to build a local network plant owned by the community that allows for more affordable internet access for residents and building tenants as well as the ability to provide service to local businesses.
“‘The Steps at Saratoga’ will help redefine what responsible building looks like in our borough,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “With a firm commitment to affordability, public health, and community connections, this proposal responds to the needs of the neighborhood and challenges the status quo of new developments. I’m so grateful to HPD, RiseBoro, IMPACCT Brooklyn, and Urbane Development for teaming up with members of our community to create more homes, foster food security, and turn an empty lot in Bed-Stuy into a model for all of Brooklyn.”