Exclusive: Adams, elected officials write letter to mayor asking for solution for lack of laundromats in Red Hook

RED HOOK — Local elected officials sent a letter to Mayor Bill De Blasio discussing the need for adequate laundry service in Red Hook during the coronavirus pandemic.

Borough President Eric Adams was joined by Congressmember Nydia Velázquez, State Senator Velmanette Montgomery, Assemblymember Felix Ortiz and Councilmember Carlos Menchaca in writing the letter.

Photo courtesy of Eric Adams

“Doing laundry, for example, can be vital to our families’ health,” the letter read. “The ability to launder clothes and linens safely is particularly important when living with someone who has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19, for someone who is immunocompromised, for someone who works in our health care system, or any other place where exposure is possible.”

However, the letter states that Red Hook residents have struggled finding laundromats that remain open.

“The neighborhood’s biggest laundromat, which was located at 35 Lorraine Street, closed late last year,” the letter reads. “In recent weeks, a laundromat located at 282 Van Brunt Street closed its doors, leaving only a single business at 779 Hicks Street for the community. As you know, Red Hook is in a unique situation because of its geographic constraints; the divide of the busy Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE) makes it difficult for many to walk safely in and out of the neighborhood, and public transit options are limited. Additionally, many of the community’s New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) residents have no other access to laundry services other than the remaining laundromat.”

Advocates helped the officials form a list of options they would like the mayor to take a look at and select one of the options.

The options include:

  • Negotiate a reopening with the landlord at 282 Van Brunt Street, providing assistance/PPE/etc.
  • Renting a portable laundry trailer(s) and operating with City workers/volunteers on a drop- off basis
  • Retrofitting the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) Space at Pier 11 and operating with City workers/volunteers on a drop-off basis
  • Renting a private warehouse space in the neighborhood and operating with City workers/volunteers on a drop-off basis
  • Coordinating drop-off truck deliveries to neighboring laundromats, with coordinated pickup spot(s) in Red Hook

Update: It had stated in the letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio that the Red Hook Initiative is involved in leading on the laundry issues and solutions in Red Hook. However, according to the organization, they are not involved.

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