FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 20, 2017
CONTACT: Juliet Pierre-Antoine, 212-863-5682
Jason Rubin, 212-863-7879

 

NYC DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT RELEASES THE RESILIENT EDGEMERE COMMUNITY PLAN 

Plan Proposes Over $481 Million Dollars of Strategic Investments to Create a more Resilient, Affordable, and Thriving Edgemere

 

NEW YORK, NY – Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer today announced the release of the Resilient Edgemere Community Plan, a long term vision for Edgemere that seeks to rebuild from Hurricane Sandy and preserve the character of the community, while protecting residents from future floods. The Community Plan proposes hundreds of millions of dollars in planned investment in Edgemere and over 60 concrete projects to be implemented over the next 10 years and beyond. The Plan marks the completion of the learning and creating phase of HPD’s The Resilient Edgemere Community Initiative, launched in October 2015. Community input was central to the creation of the plan, in addition to close collaboration with Council Member Donovan Richards and many City agencies, including the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP), the NYC Mayor's Office of Housing Recovery Operations (HRO), and the NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency (ORR), NYC Department of Transportation, the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, and the NYC Office of Emergency Management.

“Resilient Edgemere is a groundbreaking, community-led plan that celebrates what makes Edgemere unique while putting the neighborhood on a course to grow and thrive for generations to come,” said HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer. “Through significant funding for proposed projects and investments, HPD is committed to growing economic opportunity, providing affordable housing, and protecting homeowners from the threats of climate change. This plan came together through close collaboration with the community, and I am grateful to all of the residents for their active participation, as well as Council Member Donovan Richards for his leadership. As we move to implement this plan over the coming years, HPD looks forward to continuing to work closely with the community to lay a strong, resilient foundation for Edgemere’s future.”

"Hurricane Sandy highlighted the city's vulnerabilities to coastal storms and a changing climate. Today, the release of the Resilient Edgemere Community Plan marks another critical step as we continue to build a stronger and more resilient city,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery & Resiliency. “The plan demonstrates how inclusive climate action is so important for creating communities that are able to withstand the threats of climate change, while also creating stronger, more vibrant neighborhoods that serve residents’ needs. I commend HPD for their efforts and look forward to continued partnership with them, City agencies, and Edgemere residents as we implement the 60 community driven projects outlined in the plan.”

“New York City faces significant threats from climate change and sea level rise, which is why the City continues to implement its over $20 billion multi-layered OneNYC resiliency program in all five boroughs,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director, Climate Policy & Programs, and Chief Resilience Officer for the NYC Mayor’s Office. “The development and release of the Resilient Edgemere Community Plan reflects an important effort to empower the residents in Edgemere as we continue working to build a more just, resilient and sustainable city.”

Marisa Lago, Director of the Department of City Planning, said, "The Resilient Edgemere Community Initiative is an example of how City agencies can work directly with community members to develop collaborative visions for resilient neighborhoods in areas that face severe climate risks. This plan represents a smart approach to future land use, coupled with investments in coastal protection and drainage, that will allow this area to thrive for years to come."

“Thank you to Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Council Member Richards, and the residents of Edgemere for their commitment to a more resilient community.  Working within this community framework, Build It Back is elevating and repairing homes, encouraging redevelopment in the less flood-prone areas, and providing new open space that will protect against future flooding,” said HRO Director, Amy Peterson.

“After Hurricane Sandy hit our shores in 2012, the storm shined a light on the lack of resiliency and sustainability on the Rockaway peninsula, particularly in the Edgemere community where flooding caused the bay to meet the ocean,” said Council Member Donovan Richards (D-Far Rockaway). “The Resilient Edgemere Community Plan is the comprehensive, long-term strategy that the community has needed for decades. Raising the shoreline, improving Bayswater Park and Beach 41st Street Houses, as well as leveraging vacant lots to build more sustainable homes and commercial space will be a game-changer for the neighborhood. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio and HPD Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer for their $481 million commitment to Edgemere and all of the residents who participated in the community meetings that helped shape this plan. I look forward to working with the administration and the community to ensure that the final product puts us on a path for the brightest possible future.”

Hurricane Sandy was particularly devastating to the low-lying waterfront community of Edgemere. As Edgemere continues to recover and rebuild, HPD sought to work directly with residents to create a long term plan for investments in resiliency projects, affordable housing, and community development. The Resilient Edgemere Neighborhood Plan includes over $481 million in projects that will happen in the next five years.  Some will start immediately, others will require approvals in order to move forward.

Highlights of proposed resiliency projects include:

  • $14 million for a Raised Shoreline, an elevated berm that will protect Edgemere against 30 inches of sea level rise.
  • Resiliency improvements through Build It Back, including the construction of new homes, relocation of homes in areas of hazard, and the elevation of homes, and repair of homes. And creation of a new technical assistance program, to audit homes and suggest needed improvements for families not participating in Build It Back.
  • Improvements to Bayswater Park, including wetlands restoration, and park access improvements along Beach 35th Street, requiring approval from FEMA.
  • Proposing changes in land use for 16 acres of land in Edgemere’s most vulnerable areas to be dedicated for use as open space that will provide coastal protection, instead of housing.

Highlights of proposed affordable housing and community development projects include:

  • Developing five acres of city-owned vacant lots along Rockaway Beach Boulevard for mixed-use development that will provide new retail and community facilities, as well as affordable housing for a broad range of incomes.
  • $68 million in improvements to Beach 41st Street Houses and Beach 41st Street Cornerstone Community Center.

The Resilient Edgemere Community Plan relied heavily on input from the Edgemere Community, based on HPD’s new approach to public engagement that places communities at the center of developing solutions for their neighborhoods. Beginning in October of 2015, HPD held four public workshops and open houses, mailed a community feedback form to all 1,700 Edgemere residents, and held bi-monthly meetings with a group of community members who served as the organizing team. As the Resilient Edgemere Community Initiative moves into the finalizing and implementing phases, community input will continue to be central to the work. For more information, visit our website at nyc.gov/edgemere.

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About the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.