Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move Feb. 21, 2020

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Adams Advances Range of Affordable Housing Across Brooklyn

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams yesterday promoted several recently-issued recommendations to advance permanent 100 percent affordable housing throughout the borough, with a focus on affordable housing for seniors and formerly homeless New Yorkers, through the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP). 

The first ULURP recommendation, issued on Jan. 8 called for seven new buildings with about 78 homeownership affordable co-op units on City-owned sites in Bedford-Stuyvesant, located at 421-423 Herkimer Street, 440-444 Herkimer Street, 35-37 Rochester Avenue, 18-22 Suydam Place, 815 Herkimer Street, 329-331 Ralph Avenue, and 335 Ralph Avenue. 

The second recommendation, issued on Jan. 15, recommended approval of an application from a non-profit developer, Breaking Ground, to convert a 29-story tower at 90 Sands Street in DUMBO to 305 units of housing for formerly homeless individuals. In addition, there would be 202 permanently affordable units for low- to moderate-income households. 

The third recommendation, issued on Feb. 6, recommended the approval of an application from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to develop a 45-unit all-affordable housing project across three City-owned lots in Weeksville at 1559, 1561, and 1563 Prospect Place. Thirty-four units would be set aside for low-income seniors and the formerly homeless. 

The need for affordable housing for seniors throughout Brooklyn is particularly acute. Forty-six percent of Brooklynites aged 65 and overspend 35 percent of their income on rent. According to a report by Borough President Adams and the New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) released in October 2019.

“Brooklyn’s growing popularity as a place to live, work, and raise a family has put upward pressure on housing prices throughout the borough, forcing out many long-time residents and leaving many more households severely rent-burdened. These changes have fallen particularly hard on our seniors, who are often living on fixed incomes. These 100 percent affordable projects are important to advancing affordability in Brooklyn for people of all ages, for generations to come,” said Adams.

Gounardes To Hold Fundraiser, Supports Constantinides for Queens BP

State Senator Andrew Gounardes
State Senator Andrew Gounardes

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park) , who ousted longtime Brooklyn Republican, former State Sen. Marty Golden, as part of the historic 2018 Blue Wave, yesterday threw his support behind City Councilmember Costa Constantinides (D-Queens) to become the next Queens Borough President.

“Having spent part a good part of my career working for a Borough President, I can confidently say Costa is the best person in this race to lead Queens,” said Gounardes. “I am proud to support him as the progressive leader Queens needs to fight the rising tides that threaten our communities. He will make our entire City stronger in the process.”

Both Gounardes and Constantinides are proud members of the Greek-American community, who have carried their culture’s hard-working traditions over into government. Their friendship stretches back more than a decade. Constantinides is the first Greek-Cypriot-American to hold a New York City office, while Gounardes last year became the first Greek-Amerian to represent Brooklyn. 

The endorsement comes as Gounardes will have his re-election kick-off party at 3 p.m., this Sunday at The Brooklyn Firefly, 7003 3rd Avenue in Bay Ridge. Click here to RSVP!

Bichotte, Louis, Menchaca Laud City’s Elimination of Fines For Small Businesses

Rodneyse Bichotte
Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte
Council Member Farah Louis
Council Member Farah Louis
City Councilman Carlos Menchaca

Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte (D-Flatbush, Ditmas Park), and City Council Members Farah Louis (D-East Flatbush, Flatbush, Flatlands, Marine Park, Midwood) and Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) yesterday lauded Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement the city is eliminating several fines for first-time violations and expanding the universe of violations that will have cure periods for small businesses.

Fines subject to relief include select Department of Buildings, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Transportation, Department of Sanitation, and Department of Consumer and Worker Protection violations. The city will work with the city council to review more than 75 violations. DOB and DOT can implement their own rule changes, and will begin providing additional relief in the fall.

Our city’s economic engine is fueled by immigrants, minority-and-women-owned businesses who need our patronage not penalties to thrive. By shifting our priorities to improving business compliance, we are bolstering their bottom line and our collective economic growth,” said Louis.

“Fines and penalties are designed to protect businesses, not put them out of business. I applaud the Mayor for recognizing this and expanding relief to small businesses with respect to fines and cure periods. In my district, this relief will help tremendously, especially for the hundreds of immigrant-owned businesses who have been targeted by suspicious 3-1-1 complaints. The City is showing once again we don’t have to wait for a crisis to do the right thing,” said Menchaca

“This opportunity to cure certain violations before being financially burdened is a great welcome to small businesses.  There is a lot that goes into running a business and oftentimes these small businesses are individuals and families that are stretched with many other burdens.  This new opportunity will give businesses a sense of community partnership with New York City,” said Bichotte.

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce Supports Borough’s Asian Business Community

The Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is coming in full force to Brooklyn’s China town on Monday to address the impact of the coronavirus and encouraging continued support of local businesses 

The visit comes as many businesses in Brooklyn’s Chinatown, including Sunset Park and Bensonhurst, have experienced a significant loss of customers since the announcement of the coronavirus. 

These businesses play a vitally important role in Brooklyn’s economic ecosystem. To show solidarity and support to the Asian business community, the Chamber will be hosting an information and support event in Sunset Park. 

The event is slated for 1-2 p.m., Monday, Feb. 24 at Park Asia Restaurant, 6521 8th Avenue in Sunset Park. An optional walking tour of 8th Avenue businesses will follow immediately after the event.

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