BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH
Before a crowd of 300 Queens residents at a
special town hall meeting on Oct. 4, Councilman
Costa Constantinides and City Council Speaker
Corey Johnson announced that a new affordable
housing development for seniors would come to
"This is a big win for District 22 senior citizens,
who for too long have worried about skyrocketing
rents pricing them out of their own neighborhood,"
said Constantinides during the meeting at P.S. 171.
Funding for the new development was part of
the city's Fiscal Year 2019 Budget, which included
$500 million for the Department of Housing and
Preservation & Development (HPD) to fund the
construction of six senior affordable housing build-ings
across New York City.
One of the six sites where affordable housing
will be created is at a public parking lot located at
the corner of 31st Street and Broadway.
"I am glad we were able to share some good news
and announced budget victories for Astoria, includ-ing
the budget allocation for the senior affordable
housing development,” said Johnson.
In his January 2018 State of the District address,
Constantinides promised to make 500 senior afford-able
16 OCTOBER 2018 I LIC COURIER I www.qns.com
housing units by the end of his term in three
years. The new housing unit at 31st Street and
Broadway which could potentially create 100 units,
brings the councilman one step closer to his goal.
Complaints about a lack of affordable housing
units for seniors had been an issue in the neighbor-hoods
with the 22nd Council District, which includes
Astoria, Long Island City, Jackson Heights, East
Elmhurst and Woodside. About 22,000 seniors in
the district are on a waiting list for senior affordable
housing units, according to a press release from
"This is one of the biggest needs that we have,"
said Richard Khuzami, president of the Old Astoria
Neighborhood Association. "I would hate to have to
leave the neighborhood that I grew up in because
there was no affordable housing."
Khusami, who attended the town hall meeting
last week, said that a major concern with the new
development was the potential lack of parking.
"I don't see why it has to be either one or the
other," said Khuzami, who added that there have
been new buildings put into parking spaces before
in Astoria without parking being compromised.
"Look at the Hanac building: they built that and
also provided parking," Khuzami said. "There is a
way for everybody to come out of this ahead."
Photo via Flickr/Garrett Ziegler
for Senior Affordable
Housing in Astoria