Affordable housing lotteries aren’t uncommon, but for many people in need of a new place, the requirements often feel counterintuitive (i.e. when the affordable units are meant for tenants with a six-figure income).

Luckily, a genuinely affordable option just opened on 35 Commercial Street, as part of the Greenpoint Landing complex of buildings. The 22-story building hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning, attended by city and elected officials.  

Photo: Lester Ali

According to a press release, “All 374 residences are income targeted through the ELLA program, with 57 units set aside for formerly homeless applicants. The units are available to New Yorkers earning between 30 and 110 percent of the area median income (AMI). Rents for studios at the 30 percent AMI level start at just over $400 per month.”

“With hundreds of new permanently affordable homes —including apartments for formerly homeless New Yorkers —35 Commercial Street is a model development,” said Greenpoint’s city council member, Lincoln Restler. “Too many Greenpointers have been displaced or are severely rent burdened. 35 Commercial Street will help more working class families afford to call Greenpoint home.” 

The building partnered with the non-profit Breaking Ground to provide services to those units set aside for formerly homeless applicants. Many locals will be familiar with Breaking Ground, who previously ran the winter bed respite program at Park Church Co-op. Breaking Ground is also the provider attached to the yet-to-open Apollo Street shelter, which was announced in 2021. Unlike a traditional congregate-style shelter, the Apollo shelter will provide Safe Haven housing, which are short-term, private units.


While not many status updates have been given about the shelter, an upcoming meeting might give some clarity. Council Member Restler’s office will host a community meeting on April 15, alongside Breaking Ground and the city’s Department of Homeless Services.

Sign up here.

Join the Conversation


  1. This is good. I hope besides being affordable, the tenants can pay the rent and not have a history of non payment or worse like the countless vagrants who harass and assault people on Manhattan Ave.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *