Thursday, April 12, 2007

Affordable Housing in Westchester County

From Lower Hudson Online:
Using federal subsidies and state programs like Mitchell-Lama, developers built large complexes around New York, some with thousands of units in New York City and perhaps a few hundred in places like Ossining, Greenburgh, Mount Vernon and Yonkers.

But those subsidy programs had 20-, 30- or 40-year lifespans and, for several years now, buildings around Westchester County have been hitting the expiration dates.
. . .
Claremont Gardens in Ossining is raising rents to market level as tenants move out.

Claremont tenants such as Robert Smith, 59, a retired postal worker, are already feeling the effects. His rent went from $600 to $735 a month.

"I can afford the rent, but I can't afford it going higher," Smith said.

Thousands of units in Westchester have already converted to market rates, and many more buildings in the coming years will reach the end of their affordability programs, throwing their tenants into uncertainty over the future of their homes.

Thomas McGrath of CPC Resources, an affordable-housing developer, has said that almost 4,000 units in some 25 complexes in the county could be taken out of subsidy programs designed to keep them affordable for low- and moderate-income people in the next several years. In New York City, the sale of the middle-income enclave of Stuyvesant Town and the proposed sale of Starrett City in Brooklyn, each with thousands of units, sparked huge controversy that led the federal government to reject the initial Starrett deal. Without the drama of one huge complex, Westchester faces the same questions 50 or 100 units at a time in buildings around the county.

"We need more than what's currently available and yet we're losing what we have currently available," said Pepi Powell, a tenant activist in Ossining and Peekskill.
Tell your Assemblymember to be part of the solution and pass the "Save Starrett City Law", Assembly Bill 795.

1 comment:

Civilis said...

Yes, affordable housing is becoming scare here in Westchester. It's a tough battle. We'll end up with a very rich and very, very poor state eventually.