Elmcor breaks ground on supportive affordable housing development in Corona

Elected officials join Elmcor to break ground on a supportive housing development in Corona. (Courtesy of NYC Community Preservation Corporation)

Queens elected leaders and city officials joined Elmcor Youth and Adult Activities Inc. (Elmcor) to break ground on a new supportive housing development bringing 30 affordable homes to Corona.

The new development will serve those recovering from substance abuse and/or mental health issues as well as older adults.

“Elmcor has diligently and effectively served the families of Queens for decades, a mission that continues with Thursday’s critically important groundbreaking,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “By providing those recovering from substance abuse and mental health issues, as well as our older residents, with supportive, affordable housing right here in our community, we are creating a model of human justice through housing for the rest of the city to follow.”

Located at 104-10 Northern Blvd., the project includes 21 supportive homes and nine homes for low-income senior households.

“Safe and affordable housing is a basic human need. It also serves as the foundation of a healthy and prosperous community,” Assemblyman Jefrrion Aubry said. “I am excited and grateful for the construction of a new 30 units, multi-use supportive, affordable housing project which will provide housing for some of our most vulnerable residents.”

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said she was thrilled to see Elmcor expand its reach in the borough.

“Elmcor Youth and Activities Inc. boasts a proven track record of providing positive, impactful programming for the community,” Katz said. “Anyone from preschool-aged children to senior citizens can access much-needed assistance through this organization, including recreation activities, summer camp options, workforce development, food pantries and drug rehabilitation.”

Elmcor, the developer and supportive service provider, is a Queens-based nonprofit providing comprehensive programs that serve all populations.

“A lot of the issues that our city is facing stems from the lack of affordable housing, which is why when I set foot in the City Council creating a true path has been a priority,” Councilman Francisco Moya said. “The construction of these new supportive and affordable housing units mean less people struggling to put a roof over their head. Grateful to Elmcor and all involved for their work and partnership to have this right here in Corona, one of the hardest hit neighborhoods by COVID.”

For over 55 years, Elmcor has fostered positive life changes for individuals and families through skills development leading to self-sufficiency, a sense of accountability and a strong, empowered community.

“Our local elected officials, spearheaded by the late Honorable Helen Marshall, worked with us to build the funding for this initiative with so many others over decades because they believed in us, because they are us, and because they saw Elmcor effectively respond to our community’s needs,” Elmcor Executive Director Saeeda Dunston said. “Now, we are breaking ground on a mixed-use housing project for which we have fought and fundraised for many years. This building will be a home that is consistent with who we are; a community that doesn’t separate people but integrates groups to support the healing and recovery that happens when we see each other as one community. We know the impact that the lack of affordable housing has on the physical and mental health of people.”

Michael-Sean Pence, board chairman at Elmcor, added that for 57 years the organization has been on the front lines supporting its most vulnerable neighbors.

“Providing access to critical resources and programs for our older adults, youth and friends in recovery, while scaling community-centered initiatives like our food pantry in response to the critical issues that disproportionately impact Black and brown communities like ours, and have only been exacerbated in recent years — like food insecurity, gun violence and housing inequity. With this transformational project, we will build upon Elmcor’s legacy of service at a most urgent time — as New Yorkers fight their way back from the pandemic and seek affordable housing to better their path forward.”

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