Jewel Streets neighborhood plan aims to alleviate flooding and create affordable housing


New York Construction Report staff writer

New York City Mayor Eric Adams this week kicked off the Jewel Streets neighborhood plan, an effort to deliver infrastructure improvements to alleviate flooding and create new affordable housing in the “Jewel Streets” neighborhood, also known as “the Hole,” on the Brooklyn/Queens border.

A workshop will be held June 24 to provide more details. Click here for information.

Backed by more than $75 million in initial funding, the planning process will consider resiliency measures for this chronically flood-prone area and improve street infrastructure and pedestrian safety.

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), in partnership with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and various city agencies, will present ideas to the community for alleviating flooding, build stable and affordable housing on vacant city-owned land.

“The infrastructure, quality-of-life improvements, and economic opportunities we are prepared to deliver for this community would be a game-changer,” Adams said. “We are excited to bring this plan to the residents, get their feedback, and chart a path forward together.”

The neighborhood – a 12-block area that borders East New York in Brooklyn and Lindenwood in Queens, experiences year-round flooding due to the absence of stormwater and sanitary infrastructure. The environment has also been contaminated due to septic tank leaks and the presence of industrial uses.

Jessica Katz, the Chief Housing Officer, says the plan would address the city’s housing challenge while fulfilling the housing and homelessness blueprint and provide a long-term solution for secure housing amid a rapidly changing climate.

To bridge the funding gap and establish the necessary infrastructure, the city has come up with a plan that covers five core objectives:

  • build resilient green infrastructure
  • ensure a community-supported vision for city-owned land, notably a 17-acre vacant lot
  • improve street infrastructure, pedestrian safety and connectivity
  • establish jobs, community amenities, and services
  • develop a long-term land-use plan

The community planning proposal begins with the first of five planned public workshops on June 24 and will continue into 2024 with a report expected by the end of the year. Community members will have an opportunity to provide additional feedback about the plan both in person and online; interested individuals in participating can check the city website for more information.

“As we address the twin threats of climate change and our city’s housing crisis, it’s collaborative efforts like this that help establish resilient and affordable communities for New Yorkers to call home,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “I’m grateful that ‘the Hole’ will finally begin to see their chronic flooding addressed and an expansion of much-needed housing supply.”


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