NYCHA Names CAMBA Housing Ventures and CAMBA, Inc. Developer for Brownsville Supportive Housing Site

Brownsville effort to include 100 new units on former parking lot at the Van Dyke Houses

The New York City Housing Authority has announced that Brooklyn-based nonprofit CAMBA Housing Ventures, Inc. (CHV) has been selected as developer for the Van Dyke Supportive Housing Development Project. The plan calls for construction of a new mid-rise building with 100 units, landscaped areas, and on-site social services. CAMBA (CHV’s parent organization, and formerly known as the Church Avenue Merchants Block Association) will provide on-site social services and employment training for the residents of the building. The greater Brownsville community will be linked and referred to relevant CAMBA services and other community-based services. The development site is an 11,562-square-foot parking lot located on Mother Gaston Boulevard between Dumont and Livonia Avenues, and within the Van Dyke Houses campus.

“We are pleased to be a part of this effort that will be much needed housing and social service resources to Brownsville, which has a large demand for both,” said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. “As we stated in our roadmap to preserve public housing, Plan NYCHA, we are committed to ensuring seniors, disabled populations, and other targeted special-needs populations have the supports they need. We’re also committed to using NYCHA land to create new housing opportunities for New Yorkers and NYCHA residents, as well as proudly collaborating with partners like CAMBA, which has an outstanding reputation developing both supportive and low-income housing in Brooklyn.”

“CAMBA and CAMBA Housing Ventures are proud to partner with the New York City Housing Authority on this unique and much-needed project,” said Joanne M. Oplustil, Executive Director of CAMBA and CHV. “Our programs are designed to give low-income people a platform from which to build a stable life. We create beautiful, sustainable affordable housing, coupled with holistic services that help struggling individuals and families overcome obstacles and work towards self-sufficiency. The Van Dyke project will be an asset to its residents, to Brownsville, and to New York City.”

CAMBA Housing Ventures proposes to build a 12-story building with 44 one-bedroom units and 56 two-bedroom units, as well as a community space and a mental health clinic staffed with a certified psychologist and social workers. Once the building is complete, a minimum of 30 percent of the units will be reserved for homeless families and families at risk of homelessness. The remaining units will be made available to low-income households earning up to 60 percent of AMI ($51,540 a year for a family of four per HUD guidelines updated annually), and 25 percent of the low-income units will be set aside for NYCHA residents. Based on input from the Van Dyke residents, the new housing will be permanent housing for its residents, adding increased stability to the neighborhood.

Brownsville, Brooklyn has one of the highest rates of homelessness in New York City and maintains a large demand for affordable housing. CAMBA services will include support and assistance to individuals and families to enable them to maintain independent housing and to live responsibly in a safe, secure environment. CAMBA also will work with NYCHA’s Resident Economic Empowerment and Sustainability staff to prepare NYCHA residents for construction job opportunities during development of the project. CAMBA operates multiple job training and economic development programs, including a security guard training program that is open to all NYCHA residents.

The Van Dyke Supportive Housing Project is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2015.

About the New York City Housing Authority

NYCHA is committed to increasing opportunities for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers by providing safe, affordable housing and facilitating access to social and community services. More than 400,000 New Yorkers reside in NYCHA’s 334 public housing developments around the five boroughs, and another 235,000 receive subsidized rental assistance in private homes through the NYCHA-administered Section 8 Leased Housing Program. To fulfill its vital mission and even better serve residents while facing dramatic reductions in traditional government funding, NYCHA is developing new financing options and building innovative partnerships across the public, private, and non-profit sectors. These strategies are helping NYCHA to address many key challenges, from preserving aging housing stock through timely maintenance and modernization of developments, to increasing resident access to a multitude of community, educational, and recreational programs, as well as job readiness and training initiatives.


Started in 1977, CAMBA is a nonprofit agency that connects people with opportunities to enhance their quality of life. CAMBA offers integrated services and programs in: Economic Development, Education and Youth Development, Family Support Services, Health, Housing Services and Development, and Legal Services. CAMBA serves more than 45,000 individuals and families, including 8,000 youth, each year. Learn more about CAMBA’s life-changing services at camba.

In 2005, CAMBA created CAMBA Housing Ventures, Inc. (CHV), an affiliated development corporation, with a goal of creating 1,000 units of housing by the year 2015. The mission of CAMBA Housing Ventures is to develop sustainable and energy efficient buildings that provide safe and affordable housing for low-income and formerly homeless individuals and families. When provided with resources that are meaningful and culturally relevant, CAMBA’s clients make tremendous contributions toward strengthening their own lives and communities. CHV has completed 396 units of affordable and supportive housing in Brooklyn and has 459 units currently in predevelopment and development.