First affordable housing project comes to Rockaways

By Sadef Ali Kully

Mayor Bill de Blasio and borough elected officials broke ground last week on the first affordable housing project under the city’s new housing program at the Beach Channel Senior Apartments in Far Rockaway.

The project, which is being developed by Arker Company, is a seven-story, mixed-use development that will be 100 percent affordable, providing apartments for 154 low-income seniors, including 46 for formerly homeless seniors. Located at 34-11 Beach Channel Drive, the building is due to be completed in 2017.

Beach Channel is the first project to break ground under the city’s new $350 million program to finance affordable housing for low-income seniors. It was recently launched as part of the city’s Housing New York plan.

“Our seniors helped build our neighborhoods through thick and thin, and we are fighting to make sure they can stay in the communities they love,” de Blasio said at the Aug. 20 event. “Beach Channel is the first of many projects we’re undertaking to build and protect affordable homes for our seniors.”

The Senior Affordable Rental Apartments program will the Beach Channel project to serve seniors with little to no income who earn less than $36,300 per year.

“Seniors represent one of the fastest-growing populations in city and we must ensure that older New Yorkers can continue to live in the neighborhoods they helped build,” City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan) said.

Senior services will be provided to residents of the development by the Northeast Brooklyn Housing Development Corporation, which will offer short-term supportive counseling, health and personal care referrals, meals and supplemental food, and more intensive services and referrals as needed.

“We can’t allow the very individuals who have built the very foundation of this community that we stand on today to be pushed aside and pushed out of this community and city,” Councilman Donovan Richards (D-Laurelton) said.

Located in Far Rockaway between the Atlantic Ocean and Jamaica Bay, the project is designed to address storm-related flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and incorporate the Enterprise Green Communities building standards.

Total development cost for the Beach Channel Senior Apartments is about $70.8 million.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at skully@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.