After suffering from crime and poverty in the 1980s and 1990s, the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn in recent years has begun to experience gentrification that has pushed housing prices higher in an already tight market. In redeveloping a 6.7 acre (2.7-ha) former brewery site, Bluestone Group of Fresh Meadows, New York, included 158 units of housing for households earning 60 percent or less of the area median income. MAP’s plan for Rheingold Gardens consists of two- and three-family houses as well as condominiums. It is part of a larger redevelopment that also includes cooperative housing, low-income rental apartments, and an affordable housing cooperative, plus a daycare center, a home-care office for seniors, a training center and retail space.
“We were excited to see a developer building three-family housing: although three-family housing is now rare in new construction, we find it an exciting housing type that create homeownership opportunities, with the added bonuses of those homeowners both watching their rental units and benefiting from rental income. The buildings’ pitched roofs speak to the original Dutch settlement in that part of Brooklyn, and the design looks ample, not like someone was trying to skimp. Overall, we found this a very humanizing response to urban housing.”
– Jury comments from the John M. Clancy Award for Socially Responsible Housing