Housing the Most Vulnerable

A $1.5 million loan from Leviticus will help transform 90 Sands Street—a 29-story former residence for Jehovah’s Witnesses—into a facility that will provide more than 500 units of much-needed supportive housing and affordable rental housing in Brooklyn.

The borrower, 90 Sands Housing Development Fund Corporation, is an entity of Breaking Ground, a nonprofit that was founded in 1990 and has since become New York State’s largest provider of permanent supportive housing for homeless and low-income people. Breaking Ground owns and operates more than 4,000 units of housing, and its programs benefit approximately 8,300 individuals each year. The organization operates primarily in New York City, but also runs housing developments in Rochester, New York and in the Connecticut cities of Hartford and Willimantic.

The 90 Sands Street property is located in downtown Brooklyn, a mixed residential and industrial neighborhood with many older industrial buildings that have been converted to residential use. In recent years, the area has seen a rise in condominium development and a rapid decline in the availability of affordable housing. The project is located in a census tract with a median income of $108,250, almost double the median income level for New York City overall.

When the rehab is complete, the 344,000 square-foot Sands Street building will offer 305 studio units designated as supportive housing for formerly homeless adults with chronic mental illness, as well as 202 units reserved for low- and moderate-income households. Residents will receive social services onsite from the Center for Urban Center for Community Services, a nonprofit affordable housing provider of integrated programs that link housing, health, and social services for New York’s most vulnerable people.

This is our first loan to Breaking Ground and we are pleased to welcome them as one of our newest nonprofit partners. Breaking Ground will use the loan to finance predevelopment costs associated with rehabbing the property. The organization will begin construction in July 2020 and expects to complete the project by the end of 2021.