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U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez secures $11 million for projects across her Queens and Brooklyn district

Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez distributed $11 million in federal funding to local projects in her district. (Photo by Paul Frangipane)

Mar. 15, 2024 By Iryna Shkurhan

U.S. Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez secured over $11 million in funding for local projects in her district, comprised of southwest Queens and parts of North Brooklyn.

The funding is being distributed among 14 local projects – eight of them in the Brooklyn section of Velázquez’s District 7. In Queens, the projects selected for investment range from food pantry operations to shoreline reconstruction along the polluted Newtown Creek. 

The largest share of the funding, $2 million, was designated for NYCHA Farragut Houses in northwest Brooklyn. The funds will be utilized to make playground upgrades, and unspecified improvements for residents and the surrounding community. The NYCHA Atlantic Terminal complex will also receive $1.1 million for fire alarm system upgrades. 

Two local organizations in Sunnyside were among the 14 selected for project funding. Sunnyside Community Services was allocated $450,000 to renovate its building on 39th Street. The incoming renovations will improve accessibility in the building and increase its efficiency for community programming. 

Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District will receive $216,861, the smallest share of the funding, to support the Sunnyside Streetscape project which is anticipated to revitalize commercial corridors in the neighborhood with aesthetic and safety improvements. 

In Long Island City, 9 Million Reasons, the outreach arm of Evangel Church on Crescent Ave, has been awarded $750,000 to support the expansion of its food pantry. 

“I am proud to have secured over $11 million in federal funding in this bill that I know will help meet long overdue community needs in New York’s 7th District,” Velázquez said in a statement. “From developing our youth, and improving local playgrounds, to protecting the local environment and strengthening public safety – these investments will grow our economy, making a real difference in the lives of so many in our community.”

The NYC Department of Environmental Protection will receive $650,000 to replace the crumbling shoreline of Newtown Creek with a living shoreline that integrates stormwater management. Officials hope that the completion of the restoration will allow for safe public access to the Dutch Kills waterfront. 

The Queens Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with the nonprofit Queens Together, will receive $450,000 for its Fresh Plate-Fresh Start program. The funds will be used to provide formerly incarcerated individuals and those negatively impacted by the justice system with training in the food industry to secure employment at local businesses. 

Several projects in Brooklyn, from youth initiatives to affordable home ownership opportunities, are slated to receive a significant portion of the funding. 

The East New York Community Land Trust, a grassroots nonprofit organization, was awarded $750,000 to support its Affordable Homeownership Project. Their goal is to protect and expand the stock of affordable homes, small businesses and green spaces for low to moderate income BIPOC residents in East New York and Brownsville. 

Justice involved youth in Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, part of the Switching Lifestylez Youth Initiative in Residence at JACK Arts, will see their programs expanded. The organization was allocated $350,000 to continue providing mentorship, guidance and support for the youth and their families. 

Greenpoint is also set to get a brand new YMCA of Greater New York branch with the new funding. The Congresswoman designated $1.5 million to support the construction of a new multi use facility in the neighborhood. 

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