In her 2015 State of the District held on February 18, Council Member Julissa Ferreras announced the delivery of four major housing, economic development and education projects that will ensure members of the community have all they need to live, remain and thrive in District 21. In her role as chair of the Council’s Finance Committee, she also made a commitment to fight for additional funds for the emergency room at Elmhurst Hospital, improved mass transportation in New York City and the establishment of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Alliance.
“A critical part of my work is to give families in our community everything they need so they can grow and stay in this neighborhood: get their education here, live here, work here, and retire here comfortably,” said Council Member Ferreras, “I negotiate with the Mayor on New York City’s $77.7 billion budget to ensure that it is transparent and equitable, and serves communities like ours.”
Groundbreaking of First Affordable Senior Housing Development
Construction of the first affordable housing development in District 21 is set to begin at the end of 2015 and expected to last 18 months. As part of the Willets Point deal Council Member Ferreras negotiated in October 2013, all 67 rental units in the building, which will be located at 54-25 101 Street in Corona, will house low-income seniors. The ground floor will include the co-location of an early childhood development center serving children 6 weeks to 5 years old. Amenities and services that will allow seniors to age in place will include a rear garden, a community area and medical referral services on demand. Applications are expected to become available in early 2017 and will give seniors living in District 21 priority.
In addition to the establishment of a one of a kind BID for Roosevelt Ave, Council Member Ferreras announced the installation of new lamp posts and LED bulbs this year; the establishment of a small business task force for all businesses in LeFrak City, East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights; and her strong support of what would be the first Latina immigrant transgender cooperative in the nation, formed by residents of District 21.
“The Urban Justice Center works to protect the rights and strengthen vulnerable communities. The Sunrise Auto Coop deserve a space where their businesses can prosper, be safe and have the support networks they need,” said Harvey Epstein, associate director for the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, the Sunsrise Auto Coop’s legal representative.
“It has been a pleasure to work with the Council member and other community representatives in the drafting of a community agreement that will guarantee equal representation now and in the future,” said Leslie Ramos, the executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership. Ms. Ramos, who took the position in October, has met with dozens of the area’s small business owners to get the full spectrum of services they need.
“Plaza del Sol saw 47,000 visits and took care of 17,000 unique patients last year. This expansion with Queensborough Community College will not only provide more residents with quality health care but further our ability to break the cycle of poverty. When you marry health and education you are guaranteeing the success of a community,” said Helen Arteaga the director and co-founder of Plaza del Sol Family Health Center, a division of Urban Health Plan, “I am thankful to Council Member Ferreras for her support, her amazing leadership and for believing that a project like this should exist in our community.”
“Elmhurst Hospital’s doctors are some of the best in the city with expertise in level one trauma, cardiac care and women’s health. An adequate emergency room to match the quality of service is something this community needs and deserves. We thank Council Member Ferreras for standing by the side of the community and the Hospital to move the City to fully fund the upgrades we need,” said Christ Constantino executive director of Elmhurst Hospital Center and senior vice president of the Queens Health Network.