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Concern Pitkin opens in East New York with supportive, affordable units for seniors and formerly homeless Brooklynites

A new mixed-income affordable housing development dubbed Concern Pitkin opened its doors in East New York on July 9. 

The seven-story apartment building at the corner of Warwick Street and Pitkin Avenue offers 58 units of affordable and supportive housing for older adults and formerly homeless New Yorkers, along with on-site supportive services for residents. 

Elected leaders thanked Concern Housing, the non-profit agency that led the development team and oversaw the construction, for their commitment to helping Brooklynites live with dignity and creating equitable opportunities.

concern pitkin from streetThe six-story building offers 58 units. Photo courtesy of NYC Housing Connect

“This ribbon cutting sends a message to New Yorkers struggling with homelessness or mental health issues: you deserve safe, stable and affordable housing,” said Adolfo Carrion Jr., commissioner of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, in a statement. “Not only does this transformative project create much-needed affordable and supportive housing for seniors and those with mental health challenges, but it also revitalizes a once-contaminated property — uplifting the entire East New York community, while creating a healthy, vibrant residence for low-income and formerly homeless individuals.”

Roughly 71% of households in Brooklyn Community District 5, which includes East New York and Starrett City, earn less than 80% of Area Median Income, per city data. About 50% of households earn between 0-50% AMI, and are considered “extremely low income” or “very low income.” 

But fewer than half all available rental units in the area are affordable for those earning between 0-50% AMI, and nearly 90% of households spend between 30-50% of their monthly income on rent. 

A number of units at Concern Pitkin were leased out through the city’s affordable housing lottery last fall. Several, including studios and one and two-bedroom apartments, had rents between $730-$1,581 per month, per the NYC Housing Connect listing, and eight one-bedroom apartments were available completely free for those earning between $3,326-$69,900 per year. 

Concern Pitkin also includes a fitness room, laundry room, computer lounge, community room, and a landscaped, furnished backyard. The nonprofit also operates Surf Vets Place, an affordable housing development for homeless veterans in Coney Island, and celebrated the July 9 ribbon-cutting of Concern Pitkin with free treats from Cyclone Bagels – a veteran-run bagel shop on the ground floor of Surf Vets Place. 

State Sen. Roxanne J. Persaud, who represents the area and chairs the Senate Committee on Social Services said those amenities would better support New Yorkers who oft feel neglected by the housing industry. 

garden at concern pitkinAmenities at Concern Pitkin include a laundry room, fitness room, and furnished back yard. Photo courtesy of NYC Housing Connect

“We don’t just need supportive housing, we need supportive housing that’s done right – that provides the right model with the wraparound services people need, and that’s what’s happening here,” Persaud said in a statement.

Other attendees spoke of the transformative nature of this project. One tenant said it was “uplifting” to now have a space where they feel included and cared for. 

“I just want to say, ‘thank you’ to everyone who was involved with this project; it was above my expectations when I got here,” said Willie Rountree, a Concern Pitkin tenant. “Coming from the shelter system, my expectations of this place weren’t that high. But it was totally different – way better than I thought. The unity [and] the closeness that we have is amazing. I couldn’t ask for anything more. We just continue to thrive together.”

Before it was purchased and developed by Concern Housing, the Warwick Street lot was empty and contaminated with harmful chemicals from years of commercial use. The developer cleaned up the site and installed several layers of protection between the contaminated ground and the building to ensure any remaining chemicals can’t enter the building, per city documents. 

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