Wednesday, January 31, 2007

AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMITTEE BEING FORMED...SUGGESTIONS ENCOURAGED

The Greenburgh Town Board is moving forward --creating an affordable housing committee. Last year the Town Board approved a resolution authorizing the committee to be formed but no appointments were made. That should change --soon!

Suggestion are welcome? Last night I was at a meeting in Hastings. Hastings Trustee Peter Swiderski discussed his views on the topic yesterday. In Hastings there is a requirement (similar to Greenburgh) that 10% of multifamily housing that is built be affordable. He proposes that the percentage increase to 15%. What do you think?

Other suggestions that have been made in the past include --retrofitting old homes and turning these existing homes into affordable housing. Another proposal: foreclosed property should be designated for affordable housing. A third suggestion made by a blogger on this blog a few months ago: Create a fund. Developers who purchase land owned by the town (foreclosed property) would be required to put funds in an account. The funds would be used to help volunteer firefighters, municipal workers purchase housing in a community. Perhaps --anytime a developer builds commercial or multifamily developments, a contribution towards an affordable housing account could be required --to help volunteer firefighters, municipal workers and others move into affordable units.Other suggestions: the county/state could provide localities that build affordable housing units additional grants for schools/open space.

The purpose of this blog is not to endorse or oppose any of the above suggestions --just to encourage more people to think about the problem and to help us come up with good, creative ideas.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

What exactly does the term "affordable housing" mean? Are there particular state or federal standards that deem housing to be "affordable."

Peter Grebski said...

Affordable Housing is related to the income of residents. For Town is to make decision about this level. Town should at least look to NYC experiance. Giving to "non profit" organisations initiative is one way, use 80/20 model next step and work with NYS( there is a lot of other ways to do it). Don't forget about minimum standards for these apartments.

hal samis said...

One way to avoid the affordable housing issue is to support a moratorium on residential construction, say in Edgemont.
Not only would it save the School District from a fate worse than death, it would mean that the less affluent would kept where they belong, somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

Affordable housing must be addressed. If it is not addressed by us, it will eventually be addressed for us by a court and we won't have any controls. I am pleased that the Supervisor is thinking of some approaches that governments should take. Supervisor Feiners summary is a good starting point.

Anonymous said...

Hope that the Town Board takes this committee seriously. It's easy to form committees. It's hard to implement their recommendations. Looking forward to hearing what the committee has to say about Supervisor Feiner's recommendations. At least he is giving the issue some thought.

Anonymous said...

"County Sued Over Lack of Affordable Homes"

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/04/nyregion/nyregionspecial2/04wemain.html

Congrats and thanks to Elmsford and Tarrytown. Shame on Hastings and Ardsley.