Sheepshead Bay and Nostrand Houses | Brooklyn NY
The NYCHA Sheepshead-Nostrand development has occupied the site since 1950. Initially built to house returning veterans and working families, Sheepshead-Nostrand Houses is now home to a diverse and complex group of low-income residents. It also reflects the growing population of seniors that are emerging across the city as waves of baby boomers turn 60 and older. This phenomenon has been coined a NORC - Naturally Occurring Retirmenet Community.Toggle Menu
Prior to becoming a Public Housing project, the site attracted millionaires and prestigious figures of the late 19th century as a resort and entertainment destination. Its 50 acres footprint sits squarely within the Sheepshead Bay Race Track built in 1880 and expanded upon in the next decade to become the premiere racetrack in the country. After horse-betting was banned, the track transitioned to a race track for cars, eventually shutting down from bankrupcy. Its evolution to the current state reflected political and economic shifts. A brief timeline below captures the rich history of this site.
Sheepshead Bay Race Track
The races was a popular destination at the end of the 19th Century.
The well-to-do not only attended the races but also invested heavily in the development of Sheepshead Bay.
Sheepshead Bay Speedway
From racing horses to racing cars
Car vs. Plane
The 1916 "Earth and Air Match" at Sheepshead Bay Race Track between female pilot, Katherine Stinson and race car driver, Dario Restacar.
Built in 1950 for veterans and working families, Sheepshead-Nostrand Houses still operates as public housing today.
1924 vs. Present Day
Land Use Summary
NYCHA staffer let gang use Brooklyn apartment as drug den, prosecutors say
A NYCHA employee provided gang members access to a public housing apartment in Brooklyn so they could make it the headquarters for a drug ring that sold everything from crack to heroin, prosecutors charged Friday.
Housing authority caretaker Shakina Rowe, 27, was charged Friday along with 17 others, including two other NYCHA staffers who bought marijuana from the drug-den apartment while in uniform and during work hours.
The city Department of Investigation discovered yet again a problem that's afflicted NYCHA for some time: tenants "permanently excluded" for committing crimes on NYCHA property who move right back in to commit more crimes.
This time they had a little help from Rowe, a $43,000-a-year worker prosecutors say would let the gang into a vacant apartment from which tenants had been evicted.
In a scene reminiscent of the 1991 movie "New Jack City," in which a druglord takes over an entire Harlem apartment building, a gang identified by police as the "Towaz Boyz" used the NYCHA apartment as a base to sell heroin, PCP, crack, cocaine and marijuana, prosecutors said.
They sold their wares out of that apartment but also in stairways, hallways and lobbies of the sprawling Sheepshead Bay and Nostrand Houses in Brooklyn, according to the 16-month investigation by DOI, the special narcotics prosecutor, the Brooklyn district attorney, the FBI and the NYPD.
One Sheepshead Bay tenant, Matthew Gerard, 32, had been repeatedly thrown out of NYCHA buildings for prior criminal activity but was able to return again and again.
Busted with seven bags of crack in 2009, he was evicted from the Sheepshead Bay apartment where he lived with his grandmother in 2011.
By 2014 he was back, busted for selling crack in NYCHA hallways, stairwells and on the development's grounds. He was thrown out again in 2015.
A year later, a NYCHA investigator conducting a home visit found he was back, and NYCHA again moved for "permanent exclusion."
By Friday's arrest, he'd returned and even used the address when he was arrested on a domestic violence charge last year and on his car registration.
Another Sheepshead Bay tenant, Jameek Baker, 24, was kicked out in 2015 for selling crack in the hallways in the lobby of his mother's building. The next year when NYCHA investigators showed up unannounced, Baker's mother admitted that he'd just fled out a back window.
NYCHA took no action against the mother, who continued to openly certify that he was a member of the household. Baker was arrested Friday and indicted on four drug sales counts.
"In both cases NYCHA failed to take further action in an effort to stop the gang activity," the DOI report found.
Seven other defendants arrested Friday had been living in NYCHA apartments without authorization, including Ernest Wade, 58, husband of the Sheepshead Bay Houses tenant association president, the DOI said.
Wade (left) sold an undercover $1,000 worth of heroin, prosecutors said. The DOI is recommending that he be banned.
"Today's arrests highlight the inherent dangers of allowing serious, recidivist criminals to continue to reside in NYCHA property," said DOI Commissioner Mark Peters.
Peters blasted NYCHA for dropping the ball, finding "significant vulnerabilities in NYCHA's internal controls concerning permanent exclusion" and noting that twice before — in 2015 and again last year — DOI had found the same problems.
NYCHA rejected DOI's recommendation to evict households "based on serious repeated criminal activity by an individual offender" and failed to aggressively pursue exclusion violations when barred tenants are caught returning, the DOI report stated.
"NYCHA continues to risk the safety of its residents," DOI wrote in its seven-page report.
Late Friday, Rowe was charged with trespassing and released on her own recognizance. She's due back in court Feb. 6.
According to the criminal complaint, Rowe was caught on NYCHA video cameras around 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 24 using a master key to open the door of an apartment with a visible eviction notice on it.
Rowe, described in the complaint as a groundskeeper, let three men go inside — one of whom was carrying large bags.
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She also held an elevator door for the three men as they exited the apartment with "several items of property from inside," the complaint said. Then she relocked the door and left, it said.
NYCHA staffers Tanya Choute, 39, and Sherrell Hill, 29, received summonses for fifth-degree marijuana possession.
Choute and Hill were caught buying weed from the drug den apartment while in uniform and during working hours, authorities said.
NYCHA spokeswoman Jasmine Blake said Friday the authority has suspended the three workers.
"We have no tolerance for illicit activity in public housing. While this is an ongoing investigation, we applaud the diligent work of our partners to help improve safety and security at NYCHA," she said.
With Kerry Burke, Ross Keith
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- 2204 bedroom units.
- Public Housing
Since this property is owned and managed by a Public Housing Authority, all of the rents at this property are based on tenant incomes. Tenants will make a monthly contribution toward rent equal to 30% of their adjusted income. A housing authority may establish a minimum rent of up to $50.
New York City HUD Rental Assistance Income Qualifications
Generally, households earning up to the income limit in the table below for their household size are eligible for units participating in a HUD rental assistance program in New York City but actual income limits may differ for units at Nostrand.
|AMI Band||1 Person||2 Person||3 Person||4 Person||5 Person||6 Person||7 Person||8 Person|
Nostrand is managed by New York City Housing Authority.
Nearby Low Income Apartment Communities
Sheepshead-Nostrand Houses Among Most Neglected NYCHA Buildings In NYC
With residents waiting for more than four years to see repairs to chipped paint, broken floors, smashed windows and malfunctioning electrical outlets – among thousands of other complaints – the Sheepshead Bay-Nostrand Houses are among the most neglected buildings under the New York City Housing Authorities’ management, according to a new “Hall of Shame” list produced by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
The two housing complexes, Sheepshead Bay Houses (2935 Avenue W) and Nostrand Houses (2263 Batchelder Street), rank 19th and 22nd worst, respectively, out of 349 NYCHA properties in the city, putting them roughly in the top sixth percentile. The rankings were revealed on Friday with the launch of NYCHAwatchlist.com, a Hall of Shame-style initiative by de Blasio to draw attention to the agency’s neglect of scores of properties throughout the city. The list came after it was revealed that NYCHA hit a peak of 420,000 backlogged complaints in January.
“Our public housing got this bad, in part, because there is zero accountability. NYCHA is a black box. Tenants deserve to know that their ceilings will actually get patched or that mold will actually be removed,” said de Blasio in a press release. “We’re going to use the watch list to hold NYCHA’s feet to the fire.”
The website provides a detailed, sortable list of every outstanding complaint in each housing project, as well as the number of days residents have waited for action.
The Sheepshead Bay Houses’ 2,703 residents have 3,428 maintenance requests that have remained outstanding for an average of 349 days of no action from NYCHA. Almost half the requests (1,559) are for repairs to crumbling ceilings and walls, broken doors, and uprooted floors, for which the average number of days outstanding is 349. Residents wait the longest, 458 days on average, for a fresh coat of paint, which accounts for slightly over a quarter of complaints. But 122 complaints about pests including rats and roaches have sat unaddressed for an average of 250 days, and at least one unlucky tenant has had to live with vermin for nearly three years without a response from NYCHA.
The Nostrand Houses, home to 2,459 people, have 3,367 complaints outstanding, for an average of 318 days. Similar to the Sheepshead Houses, interior repairs to walls, ceilings and floors account for nearly half the complaints (1,515, waiting for an average of 349 days), and just over a quarter are comprised of requests for paint jobs (852, waiting for an average of 390 days). Residents also complain about leaky pipes and water trickling through the ceilings, for which they’ve been forced to wait for an average of 273 days, with the longest request – repairs to a shower – having gone unaddressed for more than three years.
The list reveals that more than 5,000 of the area’s residents are not only under neglectful management from NYCHA, but face the risk of tragedy every day. Between the two buildings, 47 requests for asbestos and lead removal, repairs to the fire sprinklers and suppression systems, and the replacement of fire extinguishers, have gone ignored for an average of 250 days, with the longest outstanding complaint being on file with the agency for 568 days.
The two properties are the worst of the 13 NYCHA houses in Southern Brooklyn, and among the worst in the borough, according to the website.
Making matters worse, the agency appears to do a terrible job communicating with residents about even those maintenance issues they are working on. After they came under fire in January, NYCHA has attempted to tackle more then 200,000 of the complaints – yet doesn’t appear to be able to answer residents’s questions. Two weeks ago, for example, NYCHA posted signs in the Sheepshead Houses warning residents of asbestos abatement, but failed to note where in the building it was and what risk, if any, it posed to residents.
Story continues after photo.
That caused concern for Cookie Ann, one of the housing projects’ residents, and mother to a young asthmatic.
“I’m scared my son is already asthmatic and now has a nasty upper respiratory infection,” she told Sheepshead Bites.
When she tried to call the agency to find out what was going on, she said they had no record of work being done in the building.
“I just called housing and they had no clue about asbestos in our building but the city put up signs. Now I’m worried. What can I do?” she said.
Office management nostrand houses
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