Addabbo Family Health Center
April 19, 2023

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Announces Construction Start for $4 Million Resiliency Project at Addabbo Family Health Center 

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Announces Construction Start for $4 Million Resiliency Project at Addabbo Family Health Center 

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas today announced the start of construction on a $4 million project, funded through HCR’s Office of Resilient Homes and Communities, to implement resiliency measures at the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center located in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The project will allow the facility to remain open and provide emergency services to the surrounding community during major storms. 

HCR Commissioner Visnauskas said, “Community health facilities are some of our most vital pieces of infrastructure, especially when major storms hit. This $4 million investment to enhance preparedness and strengthen resiliency at Red Hook’s Addabbo Family Health Center will ensure that the community has a safe place to gather and can receive essential services both throughout the year as well as during extreme weather.”  

The facility, which located within the 100-year floodplain, provides critical health, safety, and social service resources to the neighborhood. The resiliency measures include elevating the building’s electrical system, elevator machine equipment, and boiler room to an area outside of the floodplain. A 100-kW elevated backup power generator will also be installed, allowing the Center to continue to function during a major storm.  

During Superstorm Sandy in 2012, water entered Red Hook through the harbor and Gowanus Canal, inundating all but a few elevated blocks. Power outages were extended past system-wide disruptions due to salt-water damage to building electrical systems, delaying the restoration of electricity to individual buildings.  

The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center on Richards Street in Red Hook, which serves as the neighborhood’s only health clinic, experienced significant damage after being inundated with as much as six feet of water and was closed for over a week which left the community without vital health and social services to aid in their recovery.  

“As climate change and increasingly regular extreme weather events like Hurricanes Ida and Sandy continue to cause tremendous damage to our city, it is imperative that we prioritize resiliency efforts to protect our most vulnerable and underserved communities,” Congressman Dan Goldman said. “The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center serves Red Hook’s only health clinic and I am proud to see that the State is prioritizing this vital community center. I’m looking forward to continuing to partner with our resiliency organizations here in New York and fighting for greater resources in Washington to protect our city.” 

Assemblymember Marcela Mitaynes said, “I am so pleased to support the State Office of Resilient Homes and Communities as they break ground on the resiliency project at the Addabbo Family Health Center. As a community that faces disproportionate health risks as a result of pollution, natural disasters, and other environmental factors, I am ecstatic to see our state investing in Red Hook's health and safety. The infrastructure improvements will greatly serve our community and go further to protect those most at risk, including public housing residents. So, I hope everyone will join me in celebrating the exciting start to this project.” 

"After Hurricane Sandy, it took over a year for the Addabbo Center to reopen due to significant damage. As Red Hook's only federally qualified health center for many years, it is long overdue that we finally break ground and move forward with these critical resiliency upgrades" said Council Member Alexa Avilés. 

“The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center provides essential services to our Red Hook communities, and I’m so thrilled that we’re moving forward on this project to safeguard the facility from future storms so that it can remain open and available to our neighbors,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Thank you to New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas for bringing environmental resiliency to Red Hook.” 
The project will be completed in partnership with the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York. DASNY President and CEO Reuben R. McDaniel, III, said, “DASNY is proud to support this work to protect this important facility and ensure that they can continue serving the Red Hook community in the event of weather emergencies.  We are grateful for Governor Hochul’s leadership in strengthening the resiliency of our communities and safeguarding critical services for all New Yorkers.” 

Resiliency improvements at health center facilities along the Brooklyn/Queens waterfront have been a priority for RHC. In March 2021, the office installed emergency backup generators at three health centers on the Rockaway Peninsula including the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center on Central Avenue and at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital. RHC is also working to implement floodproofing measures at the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center on Beach Channel Drive in Arverne.

About RHC  

In October 2022, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the creation of the Office of Resilient Homes and Communities (RHC), which assumed the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery’s portfolio. GOSR was established as a temporary agency in 2013 to coordinate statewide recovery efforts for Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. More recently, the agency is also coordinating long term recovery and resiliency efforts for Hurricane Ida.  RHC is also partnering with the State's disaster-response agencies to lead New York’s recovery and resiliency efforts and develop a pipeline of resiliency initiatives and strategies across the State.