Queens Lauds Prioritization of Affordable Housing, Restoration of Rockaway Ferry

QUEENS, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz stated the following in response to questions about Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 2015 State of the City address:

“Mayor de Blasio has outlined a plan that is good for our families and therefore good for Queens.

“The creation of affordable housing for families and especially for seniors thus far has not kept up with demand, contributing to the inherited housing crisis. Mayor de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Policy will bring us closer to meeting that demand. Queens is pleased that the Mayor is placing this as a top policy priority for his administration and has included emerging neighborhoods like Long Island City and Flushing West.

“Queens is especially thrilled with the Mayor’s commitment of capital investments to create 10,000 units of senior affordable housing. We want to keep our elders living close to their families, help them live independently and with dignity.  We will work with the Administration to bring as much of the units as possible to Queens.

“That sound you hear is the cheers in the Rockaways.  Queens is elated that permanent ferry service will be coming to the Rockaways by way of Mayor de Blasio’s Five-Borough Ferry System, a plan that had long been proposed but never in effect.  Mayor de Blasio has laid forth a real capital commitment and a 2017 launch, and the restored Rockaway Ferry will be a boon for residents as an economic generator and an affordable transit option.”

Borough President Melinda Katz highlighted growth potential in Long Island City and Flushing West, senior affordable housing and restoring the Rockaway Ferry in her 2015 State of the Borough address two weeks ago.  Following are excerpts from her address; full address can be found here <https://queensbp.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/SPEECH.SOTB-2015-FINAL.v2.pdf>:

“I want to address one unfinished piece of business for the Rockaways – the Rockaway Ferry. This temporary ferry service was provided following the storm. While in service, it proved to be extremely useful to residents lacking real transit options, and was an economic generator as well, bringing people in from other parts of the city to come visit the Rockaways. Despite our efforts, the service has been eliminated for now. But I will continue to fight alongside the community for inclusion of permanent ferry service to and from the Rockaways in the Five Borough Ferry Plan. 

“So we need to keep our elders close to home, in the communities they’ve known for decades, and we need to help make that an affordable option. It’s not only the right and moral thing to do, it’s economically prudent. Neighborhood by neighborhood, many people come up to me and say, ‘Melinda, you’re going to make Queens the best commodity of New York City. Now just keep it affordable!’ And that challenge is very real today. In fact, among the intake of over a thousand constituent service requests in my first year at Borough Hall, the #1 issue was about the need for more affordable housing. In particular, senior affordable housing. So we’ve been hard at work. In every single meeting with a developer since I took office as Borough President, my first question is always, ALWAYS, ‘How many units will be dedicated to senior affordable housing?'”

Follow Borough President Katz via @melindakatz or www.facebook.com/queensbpkatz