Tonight: 2nd Zoom Meeting on Controversial New Housing

A second Zoom meeting will be held tonight, Thursday, to address a new affordable housing development planned for 681 Clarkson Ave in Crown Heights. Community members are expressing concern that it will take away parking spots and bring more homeless people to the neighborhood.

By Jay Sorid[email protected]

Webinar Registration – Zoom – Click here – Must Register by 6pm Tonite – Jan 19, 2023 

Written and emailed comments on the DSOW (Draft Scope of Work)  will be accepted until 5:00 pm on Tuesday, February 21, 2023 to  [email protected] or by mail. ESD-KPC-Combined-NOI.pdf ( 

  1. NYS Empire State Development Corp will hold a Public Scoping Meeting Tonite requesting 

Public Comments for the Draft Scope Dated – December’2022 which states the following info:

a) 1090 housing units with no parking.  

b)  This breaks down to 764 units for General Housing and 326 units for supportive housing units which target homeless/formerly homeless populations.  

c) When you add the 326 supportive housing units with the rebuilt shelters housing 364 beds, that totals at least 690 beds for the homeless/formerly homeless.

d) There will be only 15 parking spots for a 7356 sq ft grocery store plus another 38,378 ft of commercial which is the equivalent of a small strip mall.  

  1. NYS Empire State Development Recently Released Answers to Last Week’s 01/13/23 Zoom Meeting   – click the above for NYS Empire State Development’s Answers to Questions and Further Updates 

New and Revised Housing Numbers Based on recent NYS Answers to Questions are as follows

297 units – supportive housing units 

296 units – affordable renting housing via public lottery

                                     (306 units = total seniors)

214 units  – seniors not experiencing homelessness

  92 units  seniors experiencing homelessness (disguised supportive housing)

  92 units –  homeownership


Total – 991 units – new total revised total is a 99 unit decrease from the 1090 total in Draft EIS (excluding 364 shelter beds)

Unfortunately, the supportive housing (aka homeless/formerly homeless/chronically homeless) who receive homeless funding increases 63 units to 389 units (297 new supportive + 92 seniors) from the 326 supportive housing units in the Draft EIS which is a 19% jump in the amount of supportive housing (disguised homeless) from the Draft EIS numbers.  

Other concerns: There are references to 21% of the units being 2 bedrooms or more.  This does not tell the community how many 3 bedrooms there are. 

 Supportive housing is a designer label for homeless funded programs.  

The NYS Empire State Development states “it is anticipated that the project’s approximately 297 supportive housing units would be funded by the Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative (“ESSHI”), but funding sources for each phase of the project will be finalized closer to when those phases begin construction on page 3 under “How will the supportive housing units be financed”.

Yet, I have proof from the original proposal referred to as “Sparrow”, refers to the aforementioned “Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative” (“ESSHI”) as its real name “Empire State Homeless Housing Initiative” (ESHHI).  They just swapped the word “Homeless” with “Supportive”.    – scroll down to page 135 

  1. NYS Empire State Development Conveniently Leaves Out Environment Assessment Form

Showing Schools Within 1500 feet of Project On Their Website    –  Environmental Assessment Form E(d) page 10 of 13 states the following:

“d) any facilities serving children, the elderly, people with disabilities (e.g. schools, hospitals, licensed day care centers, or group homes) within 1500 feet of the project site?”

In very small print, that is not readable, it lists Darchai Menachem (Boy’s yeshiva), Bnos Chomesh (Lubavitch Girl’s School),, George Wingate HS, PS 397, E Flatbush Ascend,  Lower School, PS 135, Apple Tree Day Care, South Brooklyn Academy.    The sponsor left out the two CAMBA buildings across the street on west side of Albany Ave that contain 328 units for the seriously mentally ill and/or with a drug disability that may also be also be homeless.  CAMBA refers to said group as special needs but the original funding from NYS OMH was for what I mentioned. 

I am not anti-homeless.  I am against oversaturation of social services.  No neighborhood should have more than their fair share of challenges, porch pirates and “random attacks”.

Since this is NYS Land which does not require a community board vote, the current situation on Clarkson Ave will happen again and again, first on Albany and then steadily east until Utica Ave, unless we do something about it. 

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