This Brooklyn townhouse is available via a lottery for a shockingly low price

This Brooklyn townhouse is available via a lottery for a shockingly low price


As the result of a colorful lawsuit, a scandalized couple’s former Brooklyn property is now available — for a fraction of its market value. 

This Crown Heights townhouse that made headlines early in the COVID-19 pandemic over a heated landlord-tenant dispute has listed for just $678,000 on the city’s affordable housing lottery website, NYC Housing Connect

The two-family abode would likely list for three times that amount if seeking a buyer on the open market. But as the result of a unique settlement made between the city and its ex-owners, Gennaro Brooks-Church and his ex-wife and former yoga studio guru Loretta Gendville (branded “eco-yogi slumlords” by The Cut), it’s now up for grabs at that heavy discount. 

Brooks-Church and Gendville agreed to turn over their primely located 1214 Dean St. rowhouse in 2022 after their tenants’ harassment accusations led to two city lawsuits. They accused the pair of not respecting a COVID-related state eviction moratorium and, separately, running shoddy, illegal Airbnbs rentals out of nine buildings, The Post previously reported. 

Now, two years after the address was valued at $2 million, it is seeking less than $700,000 from eligible families. 

Lottery applications are now being accepted for the abode from three- to seven-person households with incomes in the $124,006 to $192,610-a-year bracket. 

The Dean Street townhouse’s exterior. NYC Housing Connect
The lottery ends on March 20, 2024. NYC Housing Connect
The nonprofit, which renovated the address, usually refurbishes homes acquired following foreclosure. NYC Housing Connect
A room in the building before the recent renovation. Paul Martinka
A bedroom in the building in 2020. Paul Martinka

Qualifying entrants must be first-time homebuyers with 5% of the purchase price available for a down payment from their own funds who must commit to occupying the house as their primary residence.

The property, which is newly rehabilitated by the nonprofit group Neighborhood Restore, is now divided into a four-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom owner’s triplex above a rent-stabilized garden-level one-bedroom unit. 

For Brooks-Church, that his old home is now being sold at a bargain price through an affordable housing program is a “bittersweet” outcome to the whole ordeal, he told The City.

“I felt overly punished for political reasons. That’s one side. The other side is that we’ve got an affordable house now that somebody who normally wouldn’t be able to buy is able to buy. And I think that’s amazing,” he told the outlet. 

“It’s just a shame it was my gift,” he added. “You know, I’m not a rich man. I mean, I’m still in debt from having to pay off all that stuff. They said we were an empire, you know? We never had an empire. We were struggling to keep it all together and pay the bills.”

Hannah Frishberg

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