Ground breaks on affordable housing development in Corona

New supportive and affordable housing options will soon be made available to seniors and New Yorkers recovering from substance use or mental health issues, along Northern Boulevard in Corona.

Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities, Inc., along with the city’s department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Community Preservation Corporation and elected officials celebrated the groundbreaking of the project, located at 104-10 Northern Boulevard.

The mixed-use housing project will bring 30 affordable homes to Corona, made up of 21 supportive homes and nine homes for low-income senior households.

The Queens-based nonprofit, Elmcor, will serve as the developer and supportive service provider. Monica Lopez Uran is the project’s architect, and Queens-based Penta Restoration Corp. is the general contractor.

Saeeda Dunston, executive director at Elmcor, says the initiative addresses needs of the community, and thanked the late Honorable Helen Marshall in her remarks.

“This building will be a home that is consistent with who we are; a community that doesn’t separate people but integrates groups to support the healing and recovery that happens when we see each other as one community,” Dunston said. “We will provide supportive housing both for individuals in recovery and affordable housing for older adults. We know the impact that the lack of affordable housing has on the physical and mental health of people.”

Financial support for the project comes partly from CPC with a $1.7 million construction loan, and a $2.5 million permanent loan through its funding partnership with the New York City Retirement Systems. An additional $2.9 million in subsidy is provided by HPD through its Supportive Housing Loan Program.

The office of the Queens Borough President is also providing $5.4 million in ResoA funding, along with the City Council providing an additional $2.5 million for the same purpose. The project will utilize the NYC 15/15 Supportive Housing Initiative, which provides rental assistance and supportive services.

“Elmcor has diligently and effectively served the families of Queens for decades, a mission that continues with Thursday’s critically important groundbreaking,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “By providing those recovering from substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as our older residents, with supportive, affordable housing right here in our community, we are creating a model of human justice through housing for the rest of the city to follow.”

Councilman Francisco Moya, representing District 21 which includes East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, LeFrak City, and Corona, added that he’s grateful to have this initiative in one of the neighborhoods most impacted by the pandemic.

“A lot of the issues that our city is facing stems from the lack of affordable housing, which is why when I set foot in the City Council, creating a true path has been a priority,” Moya said. “The construction of these new supportive and affordable housing units means less people struggling to put a roof over their head.”

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