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Affordable housing questions draw hundreds to Domino forum

Hundreds of long-time and low-income Williamsburg residents filled Transfiguration Church on Monday, October 6, to find out how affordable housing would work on the soon-to-begin Domino Sugar development site, and the forum did not disappoint.

According to developer Two Trees Management, of the 700 affordable units planned for the multi-tower project, the first 105 will be available by spring, 2017, at Site E, located on Kent Avenue between South Third and South Fourth Streets. Construction begins in January, 2015.

The going rate will include studios for $553 to $703 per month, one-bedrooms for $595 to $765 per month, and two to bedrooms for $723-$916 per month.

The median income threshold to qualify for affordable units begins at $20,109-$24,080 per year.

Residents within the Williamsburg and Greenpoint boundaries of Community Board 1 will receive preference during the housing lottery, although applications will be open to all New Yorkers.

This is good news for residents who worry about being priced out of their apartments by luxury developments, said representatives of forum organizers Southside United HDFC-Los Sures and Churches United For Fair Housing (CUFFC).

“The rate of rent is within the range that will help a section of the community,” said Thomas Servello, director of communications at Los Sures. “While there will still be a need for affordable housing, every bit helps.”

The new data has also spurred increased interest in the application process, which begins around 18 months from now, Servello said.

Both Los Sures and CUFFC will spent that time “educating the community about timelines and requirements through town hall meetings, and directly at our offices,” he said. “We will also help families with financial literacy, as applicants should have good credit, steady employment, and their incomes have to fall within certain ranges.”

Community meetings will continue to be held every few months.

January, 2015, will mark the start of construction not only on Site E, but also on Two Trees’ planned waterfront park, which begins with a year of fortifying the shoreline and construction area against storms and hurricanes.

Eventually, the Domino site will be home to apartment buildings, office towers for technology and creative businesses, a six-acre publicly-accessible waterfront park, a community recreation center and a public school.

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