HPD Takes Major Step to Jumpstart Community Land Trust in Edgemere Queens

July 6, 2021

Contact: hpdmedia@hpd.nyc.gov

HPD calls for proposals for a Community Land Trust partner to pursue affordable homeownership opportunities on City-owned lots in Edgemere, and ensure the sustainable development of open space

NEW YORK, NY- Today, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) announced that it is accepting proposals for a new community land trust in Edgemere, Queens. The Edgemere Community Land Trust (CLT) Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) jumpstarts the community’s vision for a local community land trust partner able to develop affordable homeownership opportunities and provide for neighborhood management of public open space and resilient land activities.

The RFEI is HPD’s first competitive request requiring the use of the CLT model and the latest in the Administration’s commitment to shared equity housing, including the recent Shared Equity Request for Information. The Edgemere CLT is expected to contribute to Mayor’s goal to finance 3,000 affordable homes through CLTs or other shared-equity development models.

“Today, we’re fulfilling a key promise of the Resilient Edgemere Neighborhood Plan to support a new CLT that can drive affordable homeownership along with supporting the resilient and sustainable use of open space,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “This Administration is deeply committed to expanding the role of CLTs as a tool to bring long-term stability and affordability to neighborhoods throughout New York City. We are grateful to the Edgemere community and their elected officials for their continued partnership in delivering on the goals of the plan to ensure a more resilient future for the neighborhood.”

“As a staunch longtime advocate for the creation and expansion of Community Land Trusts, this announcement is a game-changer for Edgemere and the families who call it home,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. “By bringing the surrounding neighborhood to the forefront of the Resilient Edgemere Neighborhood Plan, we are ensuring this project is about more than just community development, but true community empowerment as well. I look forward to working with HPD and the families of Edgemere every step of the way.”

The call for proposals builds on the Resilient Edgemere Community Plan, released in 2017, to invest in a better quality of life and address neighborhood challenges around coastal flooding and the environmental impacts of climate change. The RFEI enacts the plan’s key recommendation for a homegrown CLT to turn local City-owned vacant lots into much-need affordable housing, resilient land activities, or opportunities for New Yorkers to enjoy public open space.v

Eight acres of identified public land could be transferred to a CLT initiated by the RFEI. Offering opportunities for urban agriculture, ecological stewardship, and youth programming, nearly half of the vacant lots are reserved for open space or community and commercial land uses other than residential housing. Additionally, submissions should demonstrate community support and a vision for climate resiliency that helps ease climate-change impacts like sea-level rise and rising heat on everyday life.

“This project successfully moves forward our commitment to turn City-owned vacant lots into much-need affordable housing, while at the same time addressing the effects of climate change on our waterfront neighborhoods and providing more opportunities for New Yorkers to enjoy public open space,” said Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee. “It is gratifying to see a partnership that accomplishes the equally important goals of helping our people and preserving our precious environmental resources.”

“Edgemere needs development that is responsible, affordable, and resilient,” said Councilwoman Selvena Brooks-Powers. “The Edgemere CLT will bring new public space and affordable housing that respect both the preferences of the community and the ecology of the Rockaways. I can’t wait to see our community’s vision come to life through these essential developments.”

“Today’s Request for Expressions of Interest for the Edgemere Community Land Trust is a major step forward for the entire Edgemere community,” said State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. “Having a local community land trust partner is vital to improving Edgemere and bringing state-of-the-art affordable housing, community green spaces, and much-needed climate resiliency projects to the area. I will continue to work with my colleagues in government and local residents to ensure that the Edgemere community is involved in the selection process, has any concerns answered, and gets the infrastructure it deserves.”

We must be vigilant and proactive to address the urgent need to preserve equitable and affordable homeownership opportunities, sustainability in open space use, and resolve in protecting communities like Edgemere from climate change’s disproportionate environmental impacts in Black and brown neighborhoods,” said Assembly Member Khaleel Anderson. “Today’s Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) announcement from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development is a positive step towards expanding Community Land Trust (CLT) opportunities in our communities. I commend HPD for their commitment, and I am dedicated to a continued partnership in this effort as we demand sustainability and community input in critical local development throughout Assembly District 31 and all of Southeast Queens.”

Resilient Edgemere Community Plan
The Resilient Edgemere Community Plan, released in 2017, is a vision for building a better quality of life for a coastal community challenged by flooding, coastal storms, and other environmental impacts of climate change, as well as historic economic disinvestment. Resilient Edgemere centers on community resiliency and aims to turn the tide on disinvestment by turning vacant lots into affordable housing, retail, amenities, and open spaces, while mitigating flood risk and growing the coastal ecology. Resilient Edgemere offers a blueprint for long-term resilient land use and infrastructure investments. The City is also proposing a set of zoning and land-use changes that will undergo public review later this year to continue the community's vision.

About Edgemere
Edgemere is a coastal community located on the eastern end of the Rockaway Peninsula and is home to a diverse, multi-generational community including many essential workers, entrepreneurs, artists, and organizations active in environmental stewardship, youth support services, and other local community needs. Edgemere households are split equally between owners and renters. Situated between Jamaica Bay to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south, Edgemere is at the confluence of rich bay-side marsh and beach-side dune ecologies.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation's largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked advancing the goals of the City's housing plan – a critical pillar of Your Home NYC, Mayor de Blasio's comprehensive approach to helping New Yorkers get, afford, and keep housing in these challenging times. For full details visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.