CORONA, QUEENS — Queens officials on Wednesday unveiled a new 67-unit affordable housing complex for seniors that has been years in the making.
The eight-story Corona residence at 54-17 101st St., which is already fully occupied, contains studio and one-bedroom apartments for low-income seniors. Twenty-one apartments are for formerly homeless seniors.
The building includes a pre-K, backyard and community rooms. An on-site social worker funded by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development will assist residents.
Evelyn Salcedo, 64, said she and her husband moved to their new one-bedroom apartment in November after two years living in a shelter in the Bronx.
“It felt amazing to have your own place, to get up whenever you want and cook whenever you want,” Salcedo, a Puerto Rico native, said. “It makes you feel like you’re a regular person again.”
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez were among those who attended the residence’s ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.
“This is the perfect example of when government works,” Katz said.
Ocasio-Cortez, who represents parts of northern Queens in Congress, commended the project’s development team for meeting rigorous energy efficiency standards, such as those set by the Passive House Institute.
“The world that we’re fighting for is already on its way,” she said.
The HANAC Corona Senior Residence is named after the Hellenic American Neighborhood Action Committee, which worked on the complex with the nonprofit Enterprise Community Partners.
The project came from negotiations between then-City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copelandand the developer behind a controversial plan to transform Willets Point into the city’s “next great neighborhood,” in the words of the NYC Economic Development Corporation.
When construction started in 2016, public officials touted the development as the first affordable housing built in Corona in more than 30 years.