Significant Investments in Downtown Far Rockway Will Add Nearly 800 Affordable Homes

January 15, 2020

Press Office:

Nearly 800 new affordable apartments financed in December 2019, for a total of over 1,380 new affordable apartments added to the peninsula since the 2017 rezoning.

QUEENS, NY – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced today financing of 793 new affordable homes in the Downtown Far Rockaway area of Queens. These homes add to the 590 new construction units financed in the area since the New York City Council voted in favor of a neighborhood rezoning in Far Rockaway in September 2017.

The newly financed affordable housing units will be spread across three projects – RadRoc, Beach 21, and Rockaway Village Phase II. Upon completion, the units will be affordable to households earning a wide range of incomes, including the formerly homeless, extremely low- to moderate-income New Yorkers.

“Downtown Far Rockaway has been overdue for strategic investments and careful planning for far too long. Today we announce the coming of nearly 800 new, true affordable housing opportunities. This is in addition to the 590 affordable homes we‘ve financed since 2017, and will go hand in hand with economic and structural developments led by EDC and informed by the community,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I want to thank Council Member Donovan Richards for his enthusiastic leadership, as well as our colleagues at EDC for their partnership, and I look forward to seeing a new future in the Rockaways unfold.”

“The financing of nearly 800 additional affordable units is an important next step in delivering on the City’s promised investments for Downtown Far Rockaway,” said NYC Economic Development Corporation President and CEO James Patchett. “NYCEDC is proud to have played a role in this achievement and the City’s wider investment in Downtown Far Rockaway. I’d like to thank and congratulate Councilman Donovan Richards, the Downtown Far Rockaway Working Group, our partners New York City Housing Preservation and Development, New York City Housing Development Corporation and New York City Department of Transportation and on today’s progress.”

“The financing of nearly 800 new affordable homes is another great sign that progress from the Downtown Far Rockaway rezoning is quickly on its way,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “These three projects will provide long overdue needs for the community such as quality housing for a mix of incomes including formerly homeless New Yorkers, good jobs and commercial and community space for local businesses and nonprofits. These projects will also create new public space and improved infrastructure. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio, HPD Commissioner Carroll, EDC President Patchett and our entire community who came out to help shape this plan to be the best it could be for our local residents.”

The RadRoc development will be constructed on a private site and will include a total of 253 new affordable apartments across two 10-story buildings in Downtown Far Rockaway. Financed through the Extremely Low- and Low-income Affordability (ELLA) program, 10 percent of these units will be set-aside for formerly homeless households. 133 units will be affordable permanently.

19-38 Cornaga Avenue will be a steel and plank building with a total of 173 rental housing units, including one superintendent’s unit, and over 14,400 square feet of commercial space.

10-18 Beach 20th Street will be a modular construction building that includes 80 rental housing units, approximately 5,600 square feet of commercial space, and 3,400 square feet of community facility space.

The 224-unit Beach 21 development was financed through the Multi-family Mix and Match program and will serve a wide range of New Yorkers earning extremely low- to moderate-incomes, with 10 percent of the units to be set aside for formerly homeless households. 102 units will be permanently affordable. The 10-story mixed-use building will be developed on a City-owned site by The Community Builders Inc. following a joint HPD and NYCEDC request for proposals. In addition to the 224 units of affordable housing, the development includes approximately 7,000 square feet of community facility space, which is anticipated to include daycare uses, and approximately 21,000 square feet of retail space adjacent to a new public plaza.

The second phase of Rockaway Village will include the construction of two new multi-family buildings with a combined total of 316 residential units, 224 of which will be affordable permanently. The development will include approximately 13,000 square feet of commercial space, public plazas, and other infrastructure improvements. The housing will serve formerly homeless and low-income households.

The Downtown Far Rockaway Roadmap for Action, published with community input in 2016, details the de Blasio Administration’s goals for the area, in response to recommendations from the Downtown Far Rockaway Working Group, a team of local and state elected officials, and community, business, and nonprofit stakeholders, convened by Council Member Donovan Richards. These strategies include identifying new opportunities for mixed-income housing and unlocking development potential for residential and job-creating commercial uses. A plan update was released in November 2018, detailing the City’s progress.