(November 22, 2022 at 3:30pm)

QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. stated the following in response to today’s City Council vote to approve Innovation QNS.

“This day is not about votes, percentages or politics — it’s about Astoria families teetering on the brink of eviction. It’s about children doing their homework tonight in a homeless shelter and seniors being priced out of the only community they’ve ever lived in. That is who this day and this transformational project belongs to,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “With the passage of Innovation QNS, this borough has set a new standard for what community-first development can and must look like. I fully believe Queens will lead our city out of this affordability crisis because, as we proved today, Queens will accept nothing less than historic investments in deeply affordable housing from any organization, private or public, that seeks to build here.

“With Innovation QNS, such a historic investment will manifest in the form of more than 1,400 permanently affordable homes — 45 percent of the project’s units — with 500 homes available at less than $1,000 a month. Additional benefits include comprehensive construction agreements with organized labor, discounted rents and incubator space for small businesses, a community advisory board and a study on the potential use of geothermal energy.

“The process of getting to a ‘yes’ on Innovation QNS was long, difficult and, at times, frustrating. But this victorious vote belongs to each and every person who helped get this project over the finish line, especially Council Member Julie Won, whose fierce advocacy on behalf of her constituents has helped ensure that Astoria families, first and foremost, will be the ones who benefit the most,” added Borough President RICHARDS. “I’m deeply grateful to Mayor Adams’ administration, Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, Zoning Subcommittee Chair Kevin Riley, Land Use Committee Chair Rafael Salamanca Jr. and the entire City Council, as well as organized labor for its advocacy and the Innovation QNS development team for their commitment to delivering a project worthy of the community and borough it will call home.”

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