City to transform Astoria parking lot into affordable senior housing

astoria development
Rendition of new affordable senior housing coming to 31-07 31st Street in Astoria. (Photo courtesy of NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development)

The city has announced it will turn a city-owned parking lot into a 100 percent affordable senior housing development in Astoria.

The planned mixed-use development will be located at 31-07 31st St., and will feature 135 affordable homes for seniors, a community center and commercial space. Housing will be paired with social services, with 30 percent of available units to be dedicated to formerly homeless seniors.

The project ensures the homes will be affordable for households with seniors 62 years of age or older with incomes between $0 and $45,500 for a family of two, or the equivalent of 0 to 50 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). It will be financed through the Senior Affordable Rental Apartments (SARA) program.

Plans for the new building will include amenities such as a backyard, a rooftop terrace area for recreation, a stand-alone community center for programing and retail space. It will be located just steps from the Broadway subway station on the N and W lines.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) selected development team HANAC and Mega Development LLC in 2019 for their proposal of the location, advancing the Senior First initiative to serve 30,000 senior households through the city’s housing plan by 2026.

“This administration has made meeting the needs of our city’s seniors a top priority in advancing our ambitious affordable housing plan,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “This project promises to transform this city-owned site into a thriving, affordable community for aging New Yorkers and a hub of activity for the neighborhood. I want to thank HANAC and Mega Development for their incredible work on such a dynamic development plan.”

HANAC is an Astoria-based nonprofit described as a mission-driven developer, property manager and social service provider for the city’s most vulnerable populations.

“HANAC was founded in Astoria in 1972, it is our Ikos, our home. With the ever-growing older adult population, HANAC is delighted and proud to provide Senior Affordable Housing to the Astoria Community and throughout NYC,” said HANAC Inc. Executive Director Stacy Bliagos. “Affordable housing is essential for our older community members to age with dignity, respect and in place. This project will offer residents a community center and open space for outdoor activities, something that COVID-19 has highlighted as essential. We are thrilled and honored to work with our partners Mega and SLCE and we thank HPD for this opportunity.”

Councilman Costa Constantinides, who advocated for the parking lot to be converted into senior housing since 2018, is glad to see the project is moving forward.

“In 2018, I stood with our neighbors and senior services providers at the Broadway parking lot to say it’s more important to house people than cars. Now, in 2021, we’re living that virtue and transforming a parking lot into 135 units of deeply affordable senior housing,” said Constantinides. “HANAC is a trusted community partner with decades-long experience in Astoria. Their IKOS Senior Living development will continue that tradition. While I won’t be the City Council member when this building opens its door to residents, I’ll still be a neighbor enjoying the new community center and feeling proud of just how much our neighborhood can do when we work together. I want to thank the entire HPD team and Commissioner Carroll for making our vision a reality. I look forward to the work ahead, till there’s shovels in the ground and residents ready to move in.”

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