By Matthew Fischetti
Last week Mayor Adams announced funding for $75 Million in funding to cover resiliency measures and more for the Brooklyn-Queens border nabe known as “The Hole.”
The 12 block neighborhood straddling East New York and Lindenwood (also known as Jewel Streets) is a low-lying area without adequate stormwater and sewer infrastructure, leaving residents with continuous flooding.
Starting this month, Hizzoner’s office will begin a series of community planning proposals centered around goals like creating green infrastructure, outlining a “community-supported” vision for city-owned land in the area, improving street infrastructure and pedestrian safety, creating more jobs in the nabe, and developing a long term land use plan.
$2.5 million of the funding will come from the federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds – which will go directly towards resiliency measures and creating affordable housing.
In the northern area, the administration will be investing $72.8 million in new resiliency infrastructure while the southern area community engagement sessions will be used to plan the path forward to redirect water overflow to Jamaica Bay, as well as other ways to reduce flood risk.
The first of the five public engagement sessions will kick off on June 24 2023.
Local officials and advocates in the area celebrated the announcement, for the oft-neglected nabe.
“The long-overdue attention city agencies are giving the Jewel Streets area can be accredited to the consistent commitment of various community stakeholders to amplify the voices of the residents. The commitment and organizing of the East New York Community Land Trust and Brooklyn Community Board 5, in partnership with the office of Councilman Charles Barron, is an example of a small local partnership having a large holistic impact,” Councilman Charles Barron said in a statement
“We’ve come a long way here, but there’s still plenty more that needs to be done, and this plan will create an outline to bring us to where we want to be. I am looking forward to seeing what the future brings for the Jewel Streets area, and I believe that future will be a bright one,” said Councilwoman Ariola.
A final recommendation for the area will be released by the admin by early 2024 and a final neighborhood plan will be in place later on in the year.
“The decades of government ignoring this community and leaving residents to fend for themselves against regular flooding ends now,” Mayor Adams said in a statement. “The infrastructure, quality-of-life improvements, and economic opportunities we are prepared to deliver for this community would be a game-changer. We are excited to bring this plan to the residents, get their feedback, and chart a path forward together.”