Jan. 14, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A new building with 135 affordable housing units for seniors is going up in Astoria, announced Council Member Costa Constantinides Wednesday night.
The mixed-use building will be for seniors and all the units will be affordable. The development will replace a Department of Transportation (DOT) parking lot on city-owned land at 31-07 31st St.
Council Member Costa Constantinides discussed the project during his “State of the District” address Wednesday night.
The 135 units will be open to seniors 62 and older who make up to 50 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) — or up to $45,500 for a family of two. The city will also allocate 30 percent of the units to formerly homeless seniors.
The building will include a community center for programming such as technology training, jobs skills development and counseling for LGBTQ seniors. There will also be some commercial space.
NOW: surface parking lot in Astoria, Queens
SOON: 135 affordable homes for low-income seniors!
Too many older New Yorkers can’t afford to stay in the city they call home. A new 100% affordable senior residence at 31st & Broadway will help change that: https://t.co/oDpiW73xog pic.twitter.com/dCYkte81jI
— NYC Housing (@NYCHousing) January 13, 2021
The project will be financed through the Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) program established by HPD. HANAC, a local nonprofit property manager and social service provider, has partnered with Mega Development LLC to develop the site.
The timeline for the project has not yet been set.
Constantinides, who is in his final year in office, said he has been fighting to make the project a reality for years.
“In 2018, I stood with our neighbors and senior services providers at the Broadway parking lot to say it’s more important to house people than cars,” Constantinides said. “Now, in 2021, we’re living that virtue and transforming a parking lot into 135 units of deeply affordable senior housing.”
He added that he is looking forward to the work that lies ahead — “till there’s shovels in the ground and residents ready to move in.”
The project was a component of his “State of the District” address that covered a range of topics, such as his plan to enhance long-term resiliency and sustainability for the city and Western Queens.
In his speech, he called on the city to make Shore Boulevard within Astoria Park permanently car-free. He also announced that he is working to get 21st Street redesigned. He said that he has entered into a partnership with the DOT to create a community advisory board to put together such a plan.
Constantinides also called on the DOT to dedicate the south outer roadway on the Queensboro Bridge to pedestrians, with the existing pathway on the northern side of bridge kept for bicyclists. He called for more protected bike lanes in the neighborhood, and said the DOT needed to do a better job in making sure they are truly protected.
In addition, he announced that he will combine three pending bills into the “New York City Rise Resiliency Act.”
The act will include a bill that would require the city to create a comprehensive, five-borough plan to protect the city from climate change, a bill that would establish climate resiliency indicators and a bill that would codify the city’s Climate Resiliency Design Guidelines.