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Sunset Park library redevelopment wins community’s support

The project will bring 49 affordable apartments and a new library space to the site

Sunset Park’s community board has voted to approve the redevelopment of the neighborhood’s library into an affordable housing hub with room for a library in its base. The development, which garnered 25 votes for it, three against it, and five abstentions, is contentious among the community despite its good intentions because it would require the city to sell land it owns in order to finance the construction, Brooklyn Daily reports.

“There is a strong need for a library expansion and affordable housing in this community. And we believe this can be the kind of win-win situation that can be a model for others,” community board member Pat Conway said, noting that the development would be an asset to the community for decades to come.

But not everyone thinks this way. Other aggrieved board members chose not to vote for the project. “Let me start by saying that public assets—because that’s what this library is—should not be up for sale. It’s not good public policy, it’s not good public planning,” community board member Maria Roca, who didn’t support the plan, said.

Now that the plan has passed the community board hurdle, it’ll land on Borough President Eric Adams’s desk, where he has 30 days to approve or disprove it. Brooklyn Daily notes that Adams has expressed his support for the project, a rare fully-affordable building, in the past.

An affordability guideline for the building’s 49 apartments has already been released: to qualify for an apartment in the building, a single person must make at least $22,500, with that threshold topping out at an annual household income of $86,967 for a family of four. Half of the apartments will be set aside for residents who already live within the boundaries of Brooklyn Community Board 7, nine will be set aside for victims of domestic violence who are currently living in shelters, eight will be accessible, and eight will accept applicants with Section 8 vouchers.

Rents for 39 of the 49 apartments will start at $532 for the least-pricey studio while the priciest apartment in the building will be a three-bedroom renting for $1,272 per month. The remaining ten apartments are earmarked for higher-earning individuals who are still classified as low-income New Yorkers. When the time comes, the apartments will be available through New York City’s affordable housing lottery.