More Brooklyn Churches are Beginning to Offer Affordable Housing
When the pastor of the Church of God of East Flatbush R.C. Hugh Nelson decided his church needed to expand, he saw a chance to do something more.
The Church of God of East Flatbush had been operating out of a 9,000-square-foot space in Brooklyn for over four decades, but recently the congregation has outgrown its capacity. Seven years ago, the church purchased two city blocks on Hegeman Street for $8 million. Ebenezer Plaza, as it will be called, is slated to include not only a new church, but also retail space and 531 units of affordable housing. Development is expected to be completed by 2020.
Pastor Nelson told NY1 that it took a “leap of faith” to get into the real estate businesses, but that he knew that housing was one way to address the needs of his community. The church partnered with developer Brisa Builders and a title insurance company that specializes in providing real estate advice to faith-based groups, according to NY1.
Bria Builders’ CEO Ericka Keller said the company is seeing more and more churches around the city making real estate deals. “Currently in our pipeline we have about 1,100 units of affordable housing, all with faith-based organizations,” she said.
The church will receive revenue from the project in support of its mission, NY1 reported.
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