Finally! $689 apartments in Williamsburg

The Brooklyn Paper
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New, boxy apartment buildings are a dime a dozen in Williamsburg, but it is a rare development indeed that is renting for entirely below-market rates.

That is exactly what is set to happen at a 38-unit, seven-story housing complex under construction at 59. Frost St., between Lorimer and Leonard streets, where a developer is offering studios for $640, one bedrooms for $689, and two bedrooms for $835, exclusively to low-income tenants. The deal is a steal in the neighborhood where the average two-bedroom runs $3,773, according to real estate industry data, and there is a lot of demand among poor and middle-class people at risk of being squeezed out, the developer behind the project said.

“There’s a tremendous need for affordable housing. There has been so much gentrification and displacement. This site will help with that,” said Martin Dunn, president of Dunn Development Corp.

This is not the first time the neighborhood has had rents this low in buildings that get tax breaks for bringing in low-income tenants, but it is the first time in years that so many have hit the market at once, according to one affordable-housing advocate.

“This is very good news for the community,” said Community Board 1 member Rob Solano, who has been hosting information sessions for Williamsburg residents interested in trying to score discounted digs. “We have to make sure that people know what is out there so that they are applying properly and are able to stay in the neighborho­od.”

Dunn said he will offer eight of the building’s apartments to adults with developmental disabilities and one unit will go to a service worker to assist the disabled tenants.

“We want to give people options so that they can live independen­tly,” he said.

Dunn gets a tax credit for each below-market unit he rents. The building is two-thirds completed and Dunn said it should be move-in ready by February. The Park Slope-based builder specializes in so-called “affordable” developments. The company is currently constructing eight new buildings in Brooklyn, including the one on Frost Street, Dunn said.

A Williamsburg resident said she is happy to hear there will be more options for her struggling neighbors.

“This place has changed so much so fast,” said Eliza Branchetta, who lives on Ainslie Street. “They need to do all they can to stop these prices.”

As far as applying goes, public defenders need not bother, nor do under-the-table dishwashers. The units are reserved specifically for people making more than $23,600 and less than $47,000 per year — people making more than $29,400 pay higher rents — and the application process requires reams of documentation.

People interested in applying have till Dec. 22 and can find more information here.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Mike from Williamsburg says:
A single person making between $35,280 and $38,538 can't apply? What byzantine rules.

At least more people are going to live in this building than in whatever was there before.
Nov. 4, 2014, 2:17 pm
Common Cents from Crown Heights says:
That is cheap, but not for someone making only $23,600 a year...
Nov. 4, 2014, 2:23 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
This housing is NOT for yups & hips, keep that in mind.
Nov. 4, 2014, 2:49 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
With an income of $23,600 to qualify, you should have an idea who the housing is made for.
Nov. 4, 2014, 2:52 pm
bkmanhatman from nubrucklyn says:
if this were for hipsters there would 5 people in a 2 bedroom apartment.
Forthe Yupsters they would be paying like a minimum $3000.
For low income mcdonalds worker, the price is right.
Nov. 4, 2014, 3:04 pm
jjm from c. hill says:
@bkmanhatman, exactly & if a person just so happens to have a section 8 voucher, they qualify too.
Nov. 4, 2014, 3:12 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Section 8 vouchers are a hell of a lot better way to make housing affordable than lotteries, building "for" some in-group but "not for" politically unconnected people, or NYCHA units.
Nov. 4, 2014, 3:32 pm
180 from out of context says:
I don't understand the mentality of trying to support a business such as McDonalds. Ronald McDonald House aside for a moment.

Increasing minimum wage is a catch22, as doing so would contribute to inflation, would it not? Are we just scooting that decimal point over on the USD? Will we not end up with a currency comparable to China?

Coffee 00.50cents
Coffee 05.00usd
Coffee 50.00usd

kicking that can down the road
Nov. 4, 2014, 4:56 pm
180 from outofcontext says:
Maybe McDonalds coffee is still 00.50cents.

Quality should be the determining factor, but who knows what that is.
Nov. 4, 2014, 5:10 pm
b from gp says:
Mike, The income bracket of which you speak is called burnout. People who make more or less often do not work as hard. And chances are this bracket is loathed and mistakenly called yuppiehipstertrustfunddumbwhitebtch.
Nov. 5, 2014, 10:45 am
jjm from c. hill says:
Its basically for nannies, baggage handlers, target employees, security guards, etc. In other words, NORMAL PEOPLE.
Nov. 5, 2014, 11:41 am
b from gp says:
Places to consider, Mont., S.D., Colo., Iowa., Ark., N.C., W. Va.

Expatriating is always tempting, but the land would be left unprotected.
Nov. 5, 2014, 12:38 pm
b from gp says:
Pishposh Interloper, 23 was doable in the 11211 up until a few years ago.

Maybe look towards the tighter knit groups as beacons of strategy, those that form Gyeh and Susu funds.
Nov. 5, 2014, 5:53 pm
jasper from Greenpoint says:
PLEASE ALREADY will be an upgraded project with piss in all the hallways and garbage thrown out the window all the rest of them crime rates double in HOOD ....
Nov. 6, 2014, 8:43 pm

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