Community Board 5 will hear arguments on Nov. 14 about a potential development that aims to house homeless individuals, seniors and families from the community who qualify for low-income housing.
The zoning variance application focuses on the parcel of land is at 80-97 Cypress Ave. If the Board of Standards (BSA) approves the application, WellLife Network, a UG 3 non-profit, will demolish an existing, abandoned structure to make way for a six-story building with 66 units which will be “100% permanently affordable,” according to CB 5.
Gary Giordano, the Board 5 district manager, said that WellLife’s efforts to build at the site go back to 2000, when they were attempting to build a facility for 18 psychiatric patients, however a mixed population makes the project more feasible.
“The representatives of the WellLife Network inform us that they’re quite confident that these three different groups of people can live together in a safe environment that they provide,” Giordano said.
Funding for the supportive housing is coming from the state of New York, according to Giordano, while the Department of Housing Preservation and Development is also involved.
The application calls for 20 units reserved for homeless or at-risk individuals, young adults or families with children where one adult member of the family has either a mental or physical disability.
Another 20 units will be set aside for seniors who are at risk of being homeless and have disabilities.
The remaining 26 apartments will be for low-income residents who are eligible for affordable housing.
Plans with the city Department of Buildings show the structure will rise 57 feet with a community room and a lounge in the cellar. It will have a 19 space parking lot.
The community in Glendale and Maspeth has been on high alert after concern that a shelter would be placed at 78-16 Cooper Ave., but now it is more likely to become a school after negotiations between Councilman Robert Holden, city Department of Homeless Services Commissioner Steve Banks and the School Construction Authority saw the location as more suitable for a school.
CEC 24 approved a resolution last week to voice their support for using the property to relive overcrowding in schools in the district.
But fears over Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Turning of the Tide on Homelessness plan negatively impacting southwestern Queens were quickly stoked once again when Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan spoke up about PS 9 possibly being eyed for a shelter, though this claim has not been confirmed by the DHS or the city administration.
Although the 80-97 Cypress Ave. site does not seem to be a city operation at this time, Nolan and Assemblyman Brian Barnwell openly opposed any additional shelters in Community Boards 1, 2 and 5 in a recent letter.
Board 5 will consider the input received at the meeting in formulating its recommendation for or against the zoning variance. Regardless of what the board recommends, the BSA has the final decision on whether to approve the application.