Brian Pugh: An Affordable Future

​To the Editor:brian-pugh-group-cropped

The Village Board of Trustees work session discussed a proposed affordable housing law modeled on the County’s model housing ordinance. The proposal we discussed was an outgrowth of a similar work session conducted in 2016 with the previous board majority.

Under the proposed local law, all residential developments of ten or more units created by subdivision or site plan approval at least 10% of the total number of units would have to be affordable units.

The proposed law would consider a rental unit to be affordable if the annual housing cost of the unit does not exceed 30% of the income of a household earning 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI). A for-purchase housing unit would be affordable if the annual housing cost does not exceed 33% of the income of a household earning 80% AMI.

Area Median Income (AMI) for Westchester is defined annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is adjusted by family size. Under the 2017 HUD Income Guidelines for Westchester County, 60% of Area Median Income for a one-person household would be $46,800 (with a maximum monthly housing cost of $1,170) and $60,180 for a three-person household (with a maximum rent of $1,504).

Municipalities around the county have adopted affordable housing laws based on the model ordinance. This includes the following Villages, all of whom have had such a law since at least 2013: Ardsley, Hastings, Irvington, Pleasantville, Rye Brook and Scarsdale.

The proposed legislation is not final and there are many steps to go to its adoption (including the scheduling of a public hearing, the holding of a public hearing, etc.). The model ordinance, which would only cover new construction and only projects involving subdivision or site plan approval, may have only a modest impact on our largely mature housing market.

But if we fail to act we will have foreclosed on an affordable future for many Croton families.

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