Yorktown Town Board Revisits Affordable Housing Law

In June 2017, workers construct an affordable housing building on Kear Street. The building, set to open soon, contributed to Westchester County’s settlement with the federal government. Credits: Brian Marschhauser

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – At the behest of members of the Community Housing Board, the Town Board on Tuesday, March 10, asked Town Attorney Richard Abbate to research the legality of requiring developments of 10 units or more to include a 10 percent set-side for affordable housing.

The set-aside is less than that imposed under a previous affordable housing law which in 2016 was wiped off the books under former Supervisor Michael Grace’s administration. That law had required a 10 percent affordable housing set-aside on developments of eight units or more.

In a presentation at the board’s work session, Kenneth Belfer, chairman of the housing board, said about 30 municipalities in Westchester County currently have set-aside laws.

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“The typical ratio is 10 percent of the number of units, say one unit for every 10,” said Belfer, who was joined at the conference table by housing board member Maura Gregory.

Belfer suggested that because so many communities have begun requiring the set-aside, developers are “getting used to it,” where once they had balked.

“Now we’re in a different housing market altogether, and we feel we should have the opportunity to keep housing diverse,” Belfer said.

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