BY MARK HALLUM
While some discussed the difficul-ties
of building affordable hous-ing
at any level of government,
others marveled at the fact that
while Queens once looked to
Manhattan for inspiration, resi-dents
of the borough nowadays are looking inward.
At least this was the attitude of lawmakers and
socially conscious execs at the groundbreaking cer-emony
for the over 1,100 units of affordable housing
in Hunters Point South on April 5.
“Newspaper columnist Jimmy Breslin always said
that Queens was the most romantic borough because
we could look out at the aspirational lights of Manhattan,
but what’s happened in the last few years is that the
aspirational lights are here in Queens,” Assemblywoman
Catherine Nolan said. “It’s in Queens where people are
getting the chance to build their lives and families.”
About 60 percent of the studios, one-bedroom and
two-bedroom units in the highrise – adding to skyline
and Long Island City rise to prominence – will be af-fordable
to lower income brackets. TF Cornerstone
and city Department of Housing Preservation and
Development, however, could not provide income
brackets for the affordable units at this time.
Both Nolan and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
looked at the optimism behind the opportunities of
the development as a palate cleanser to the conflict
experienced in the community by Amazon’s retreat,
taking 25,000 to 40,000 jobs with it.
‘THE ASPIRATIONAL LIGHTS
ARE HERE IN QUEENS’:
“Really one of the biggest challenges that we have
in government is affordable housing, it’s so, so difficult
to build,” Maloney said. “I don’t know if any other project
like this in the whole city or the whole country that is
setting aside that many units of affordable housing.”
TF Cornerstone principal Jeremy Shell, Congress-woman
26 APRIL 2019 I LIC COURIER I www.qns.com
Grace Meng, Asspemblywoman Catherine
Nolan and Selfhelp’s Stuart Kaplan where among
many who got the project off the ground. (Photo:
Mark Hallum /QNS)
But although it is not quite clear how affordable
the units will be yet, Stuart Kaplan, CEO of Selfhelp
Community Services which was a partner in the de-velopment,
approved of the $129 million project.
“Selfhelp learned long ago that a house or an apart-ment
is more than just four walls,” Kaplan said. “This
project that we are embarking on today epitomizes
that because it recognizes the people, the community
and the services that enable people particularly who
are low income to live independently with dignity.”
Kaplan, whose organization helps Holocaust survivors
and other elderly people age through key services, said the
development symbolized the growth of “community equity.”
Residents who call the development home will
have some of the most sought after views of the East
River and Manhattan, as well as access to the new
Hunters Point South Park. The building will be just a
stone throw to the NYC Ferry landing.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney discussed the difficulties of building affordable housing
while celebrating the 1,100 units to be built in Hunters Point.
Speaker Corey Johnson reveals his plan for a municipal takeover of the
transit system during a speech at LaGuardia Community College.
By Mark Hallum
TF Cornerstone principal Jeremy Shell, Congresswoman Grace Meng, Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan and Selfhelp’s
Stuart Kaplan where among many who got the project off the ground.