This Week In The Villages: Affordable housing in the Village of Nyack — what’s that all about? Don Hammond explains and corrects some misconceptions. The Town of Clarkstown is participating in a back-to-school drive. And beginning on Sat August 26, westbound motorists on 287 will have a brand new bridge to cross the Hudson.
by Don Hammond
A recent discussion on social media raised three important questions about affordable housing in the Village of Nyack.
- Changes have been made to the Affordable Housing Law, but it wasn’t because developers claimed that the previous requirements were too onerous. The impetus for this change was Nyack’s Village Board, which had the goal of increasing the number of affordable housing units being built.
- There have also been questions regarding who is qualified for affordable housing. The current standard is “persons with incomes less than or equal to 80% of the current AMI for Rockland County, New York as determined by the HUD.” It should also be noted this also pertains to affordable/workforce housing. (VON Code 120)
If you have thoughts or questions based on either what you read here or things you’ve heard buzz about in the community, please feel free to reach out to me directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 914.954.7556. — Dr. Don Hammond
Nyack’s Village Planner Bob Galvin provided several examples of affordable housing developments in the village:
- Glendale Project on Main Street – two units built and rented in the last three years.
- Montclare Project (Main/Midland) – four units to be built (not started yet).
- Pavion – 13 units under construction. (FYI, there have been over 500 applications for the market rate rental units.)
- Gateway (Main & Highland) – three units to be built. (The developer has indicated that they would like to use the $40,000 payment into Housing Fund for $120,000.)
- TZ Vista / Gedney Street Project – would include 13 units (if payment to fund utilized, at $40K per unit payment into Housing Fund – $520,000.)
The change in the Affordable Housing Law has created 19 affordable units (at 80% AMI per Village of Nyack code) being built or coming on line. As much as $640,000 may be added to the Housing Fund. Before the law was changed, there were no affordable units being built or planned.
In addition, the Nyack Point project (formerly Sew What’s New) Rockland Housing Action Coalition has received 300 applications for the 33 units that are affordable and will begin renting to veterans, special needs and other groups below the 80% AMI. This construction benefits the community and addresses the need for more affordable housing, although it is not subject to the new law.
- The Buyout fund. This concept was devised to make developers who elected NOT to build the number affordable units required under the affordable housing code pay into a fund. The buyout per unit is a minimum of $40,000 per unit. Per the Village of Nyack code, the purpose of the fund is to:
Either advance affordable housing within the Village of Nyack; or
To provide grants for credits against the purchase price of residential real estate within the Village of Nyack by qualified persons (persons with incomes less than or equal to 80% of the current AMI for Rockland County, New York as determined by the HUD); or
To provide grants for owner-occupied housing rehabilitation projects within the Village of Nyack.”
Under the current law, the Gedney Street Project (TZ Vista) would result in 13 affordable housing units or buyouts. At the minimum of $40,000 per unit, this could result in almost $500,000 being placed in the fund. The rationale for this fund was to create a mechanism for people who are on fixed income or low income to remain in their homes and to keep them repaired.
The decision to change the law has resulted in more affordable (not low income) housing units being built. It has also resulted in a fund to help current residents stay in their homes. There is still a lot of work to be done on the issue of affordability for Nyack residents. We need to develop policies and initiatives that are beneficial to our village and our community as a whole.
Town of Clarkstown
Clarkstown is participating in a back-to-school drive until August 18, 2017. The drive will help two local not-for-profit organizations (Advocating for Change, Inc. and People to People) distribute supplies to students before the start of the school year. Residents who wish to donate back packs and school supplies can drop off donations in the lobby at Town Hall (10 Maple Ave., New City).
Tappan Zee Bridge News
Tappan Zee Constructors (TZC) is preparing the Rockland and Westchester landings for the traffic shift scheduled for the overnight of Aug. 25. The operation will shift four westbound traffic lanes of the New York State Thruway (I-87/I-287) to the first span of the new bridge. Work at the landings includes preparing slot drains, temporary barriers and striping.
TZC will also continue final driving surface preparations on the new bridge’s roadway. The work is scheduled for completion this week.
Here are the municipal events in Upper, South and the Village of Nyack for the week of 8/14.
Village of Nyack
- Tue 8/15, 5p: Justice Court
- Wed 8/16, 7p: Nyack Art Collective
- Thurs 8/17, 9:30a: Justice Court
Nyack Village Hall is located at 9 N. Broadway.
Village of South Nyack
- Mon 8/14, 5:30p: Justice Court
- Wed 8/16, 7:30p: Planning Board
South Nyack Village Hall is located at 282 S Broadway.
Village of Upper Nyack
- Mon 8/14, 6p: Architectural Review Board
- Tue 8/15, 8p: Zoning Board of Appeals
- Wed 8/16, 7:30p: Planning Board
- Thurs 8/17, 7p: Village Board Meeting
Upper Nyack Village Hall is located at 328 N. Broadway.