Queens Residents Call for Affordable Housing

By Joshua Philipp
Joshua Philipp
Joshua Philipp
Joshua Philipp is an award-winning investigative reporter with The Epoch Times and host of EpochTV's "Crossroads" program. He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare, subversion, and historical perspectives on today’s issues. His 10-plus years of research and investigations on the Chinese Communist Party, subversion, and related topics give him unique insight into the global threat and political landscape.
September 14, 2008 Updated: October 1, 2015
FAIR HOUSING: Queens residents rallied for a new housing project in Hunters Point to be affordable to lower and middle income families.  (JAVIER RAMIREZ-ZARON)
FAIR HOUSING: Queens residents rallied for a new housing project in Hunters Point to be affordable to lower and middle income families. (JAVIER RAMIREZ-ZARON)

NEW YORK—Concerned over a lack of affordable housing, City Council Member Eric Gioia joined over 100 Queens residents for a rally on Sunday.

Standing in front of Hunters Point in Queens, where the City Planning Commission is scheduled to make recommendations for a new housing project on Sept. 24, residents from the Queens for Affordable Housing (QFAH) coalition and others called for a revision of the development plans so that they will ensure housing that is affordable to lower and middle income families.

“Its’ a real problem. Working people are being pushed out of the city,” said Hannah Weinstock, a community organizer with the Queens Community House, a member of QFAH. “It’s not the type of New York we want, not the type of Queens we want.”

According to Weinstock, the city has set out to create what it is calling “affordable housing projects,” with 40% set aside for luxury homes and 60% for middle income families that earn roughly between $60,000 and $160,000 per year. Home to 23.7% of households that earn less than $50,000 per year, Queens has only received 3.7% of the apartments provided by the New Housing Marketplace Program (NHMP) that are affordable to those households.

“The Bloomberg administration has a plan for affordable housing that excludes a majority of local residents and Queens residents,” said Weinstock. “That means that the majority of families in Long Island and Queens as a whole would not be able to afford these houses.”

Weinstock said that the NHMP is not asking for the entire development to accommodate lower income families. Requests were made that 20% of the new housing be affordable to families earning $25,000 per year or less, 20% for families earning $25,000 to $61,000 per year, and 10% for families with an income between $100,000 and $127,000 per year, as well as the availability for home ownership. “We’re not asking for that much. We’re just saying include everybody,” said Weinstock.

The Hunters Point development is located on a 30-acre parcel of public land along the East River waterfront in Long Island City. Slated to be one of the largest developments in Queens, it will have 5,000 new apartments and new commercial space.

"Providing affordable and middle income housing needs to be part of every new development," said Gioia in a press release. "A cop married to a school teacher ought to be able to live in New York City, and so should a maintenance worker or a crossing guard. This plan doesn't yet make that possible and must be changed to include deeper affordability.
 

Joshua Philipp is an award-winning investigative reporter with The Epoch Times and host of EpochTV's "Crossroads" program. He is a recognized expert on unrestricted warfare, asymmetrical hybrid warfare, subversion, and historical perspectives on today’s issues. His 10-plus years of research and investigations on the Chinese Communist Party, subversion, and related topics give him unique insight into the global threat and political landscape.