MJB - your comment that the only people who will benefit are the developers and unions is patently misleading. The following statement is from brochure on the settlement off of Westchester.gov website:
"families will be allowed annual incomes up to $84,200...It is not low income or homeless housing. Homes will be made available to working people who are able to afford rental or mortgage payments, utilities, and where units are purchased, property taxes."
I personally purchased a HUD affordable housing home 8 years ago. The development was 2-4 bedroom detached condominiums interspersed in an affluent, high priced community in Colorado (the city had a population of 22,000). I purchased my home for cash (this is allowed under HUD), and qualified to purchase because of my income as an educator. Here is a sampling of my neighbors who also bought under the HUD program:
a married couple with 2 children who were both elementary school teachers;
a lovely retired couple who where the parents of one of the teachers (they bought next to their children);
a police officer
an administrator for a Catholic charity whose husband had just died and was able to purchase a home for her family in a nice area (the sweetest most God-fearing woman you could ever meet);
a marketing specialist for a start-up non-profit;
All of these people were law abiding, salt of the earth people. Everyone in the community was respectful to everyone else; crime was virtually non-existent, and property values did not suffer because of the HUD housing.
In 2011 Forbes magazine ranked this city in Colorado (with it's HUD housing and all) as the number one city in America for quality of life.
I have lived in Tarrytown and in Yorktown and I can honestly say that the quality of life in Westchester is no where near the quality of life in that community in Colorado. There is far more crime in Westchester than there was in that community, and people are much more hard-hearted here.
Why is Westchester so afraid of affordable housing? Are you such elitist snobs that you would not welcome the people who I have described above as neighbors because they don't have as much money as you do? View Comment
Touche...point well taken.
However, what you have said does not negate the fact that Westchester County took money from the federal government designated for fair housing. Under the settlement agreement (that they freely entered into) they have obligations to promote fair housing. Observe the current Somers Town Board and Planning Board meeting videos. The planning board is behind an affordable housing project that the town board is resisting because it would require zoning code changes. Have we learned anything here? View Comment
No one is forcing affordable housing or "social engineering" on the upscale folks of Westchester. What most people seem to forget is that prior to the 2009 settlement, Westchester applied for, and accepted, millions in federal money under the guise they were complying with fair housing laws. They didn't do one thing to provide work force housing and in fact many town zoning codes blocked efforts to build affordable housing. In effect, Westchester stole money from the federal government that was intended for work force housing.
A federal judge ruled that Westchester had "utterly failed" to meet its obligations associated with taking the housing money. The settlement agreement of 2009 is just asking Westchester to keep their part of the bargain and do what they falsely claimed they had been doing in order to get the money from the feds; and Astorino is squealing "foul" and claiming the feds are over-reaching.
Typical of his over-indulged cronies to fraudulently take money that is intended to benefit the working class and use it for the exclusivity of the upper class. In case I haven't spelled it out clear enough, what Westchester did prior to 2009 is steal from the working class and give to the upper class. View Comment
Couldn't agree more with jlombard. Thank you for doing the research on this. Public money should go for the common public good; period. Not to enrich special interests and the elite, which is what is happening here.
This is just one more example of public money from working families being funneled to the wealthy elite. Do these people who back this have no shame? I send my daughter to private school and I provide for her transportation. I would be ashamed to ask for public assistance to send her to private school. Then they have the audacity to counter with the false threat of "well, if you don't continue to subsidize us we will cost you more by putting our kids in public school." Talk about a sense of entitlement. And on top of that, people of this same ilk claim that the Social Security retirement benefits (that which working people have PAID INTO their entire lives with the promise that they would be provided a retirement and medical care in their old age) are an entitlement.
I have voted Republican my entire life. Come November, I will be voting Democrat. The Republican party has abandoned the middle class. I get the sense from talking to others that this is a growing sentiment not just in this community, but across the country. View Comment