You are reading

54,000 Residents Sign Petition in Opposition to the Construction of Homeless Facility in Flushing

A group of community and business leaders from Flushing, pictured, announced Tuesday that more than 54,000 residents have signed a petition opposing the construction of a 90-unit homeless housing development on College Point Boulevard. (Photo provided by Flushing United)

Jan. 19, 2022 By Michael Dorgan (update)

A group of community and business leaders from Flushing announced Tuesday that more than 54,000 residents have signed a petition opposing the construction of a 90-unit homeless housing development on College Point Boulevard.

The petition, launched last month, seeks to stop the proposed seven-story building from being constructed at 39-03 College Point Blvd., located between 39th Avenue and Roosevelt Avenue. The petitioners say the community has not been involved in the planning process and that they do not want the facility to be built on the empty site.

The development would consist of supportive housing units, providing temporary apartments to homeless families as a means to get them back on their feet.

Proponents of the plans say that the facility would provide temporary accommodation for families who may have lost their homes or may have been housed in illegal basement apartments—as opposed to being a long-term homeless shelter. The purpose of the units is to help transition people back into long-term housing.

Permits for the development were filed late last year with the Dept. of Homeless Services (DHS) expected to partner with the Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) to construct the facility. The AAFE is a Manhattan-based non-profit that provides affordable housing for Asian Americans and various disadvantaged communities. The organization also has a Flushing office on 41st Avenue.

The development is expected to cost around $440 million, according to the organizers of the petition. The project is expected to break ground in February 2022 with construction taking around 20 months, according to the AAFE website.

However, in a statement issued today, AAFE said the project is on hold.

“The project has been paused, due to AAFE’s own coordination with city officials, in order to address community concerns and to provide more education and insight into the benefits of this project for the Flushing community,” a spokesperson for AAFE said.

The petition calls on the city to block the development arguing that it would “adversely affect Flushing” as it attempts to bounce back from the economic crisis stemming largely from the pandemic.

The petitioners say they do not trust the city to stick to the current plans for the site, noting that the nearby Wyndham Gardens Fresh Meadows Hotel has housed early released Rikers Island inmates for nearly 20 months, even though the community was initially told the inmates were to be housed there for three months.

A rendering of the proposed development planned to go up at 39-03 College Point Boulevard (Rendering provided by  Urban Architectural Initiatives)

A rendering of the proposed development planned to go up at 39-03 College Point Boulevard (Rendering provided by Urban Architectural Initiatives)

The development is planned to go up at 39-03 College Point Boulevard, pictured. (Google Maps)

The petition calls on the city to scrap the development and pledge that it will not construct such a building in the future. It also calls for a public hearing to be held so they can voice their concerns.

The petition was created by Flushing United, a group established last month by community and business leaders seeking to block the development, according to a spokesperson for Flushing United.

The group held a press conference Tuesday at the Grand Restaurant, located at 4021 Main St., to announce the petition had garnered more than 54,000 signatures – with more than 50,000 signatures gathered by hand and nearly 4,000 generated online.

They questioned why the city has decided to build a supportive housing facility at the site instead of affordable housing units, which they say would better serve the community.

“The community has raised concerns and still many more questions remain unanswered,” said Flushing United member Dr. George Liu.

“We want to make sure this project is right for Flushing with proper communication and the community’s input.”

Flushing United also called on the city to reveal the exact cost of the development and to disclose if any studies have been conducted to assess the safety risk it may pose to nearby residents.

The Queens Post reached out to DHS for comment on the points raised by Flushing United but has yet to receive a response.

Senator Toby Ann Stavisky said in a statement that she met with DHS and Flushing United last week to discuss the issue.

“I found there were many unanswered questions and unaddressed issues,” Stavisky said Tuesday.

She encouraged concerned residents to participate in next week’s Community Board 7 virtual meeting and raise the issues surrounding the proposed development.

The meeting will take place on Jan. 24 at 7 p.m.

A group of community and business leaders from Flushing, pictured, announced Tuesday that more than 54,000 residents have signed a petition opposing the construction of a 90-unit homeless housing development on College Point Boulevard. (Photo provided by Flushing United)

email the author: [email protected]

One Comment

Click for Comments 
Captain Obvious

Place all these homeless shelters in the most heavily concentrated Democrat districts. They voted for all these shelters along with closing Rikers so place them in their communities. Easiest solution.

12
1
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Popular places where you can watch the Super Bowl in Queens

Feb. 2, 2023 By Tammy Scileppi

Hey, football fans! Game time is fast approaching, and across the city and here in Queens, you can feel the excitement brewing as the two teams prepare to take the field on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 12. So, kick back and watch the big game, and don’t miss Rihanna’s exciting performance during halftime. 

NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force investigating vandalism at Forest Hills church that has been targeted in the past

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating a case of criminal mischief at a Forest Hills house of worship in which a vandal threw a rock to intentionally damage its glass front door, according to authorities.

Police say that just before 4 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 29, police from the 112th Precinct were called to Grace Lutheran Church, located at 103-15 Union Tpke., after a man threw a rock and damaged the church’s front door.

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.